Brighton and Hove Albion boss has said defender Leon Balogun has to be ready to step in at any time.
The summer signing is Brighton’s third-choice centre-back, just behind regulars Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk.
During the week, he came off the bench against Crystal Palace after Duffy was sent off for headbutting an opponent. Balogun’s first touch in an M23 derby was a well-executed goal to help the Seagulls to a 3-1 victory over their archrivals.
And with the Ireland defender set to sit out the next three games, Balogun is set to fill in his role, starting away at Burnley on Saturday.
“Leon [Balogun] is an experienced playing who can step into the side – he played against Manchester United and he trains very well all the time,” Hughton said in a pre-match conference.
“The reason for that is because he’s behind two very consistently performing players, but he knows that he has to keep applying himself when circumstances like this one arise and opportunities come up.”
Balogun has played four Premier League games this season, with his only start coming in their narrow defeat to Liverpool in August.
He will hope to enjoy a better feat as he plays from the start for the second time when they visit Turf Moor this weekend.