Tettey blundered for one of Chelsea's goals on Sunday, but Hughton insists it was just a blip.
"Alex is absolutely key in that role because it does give Leroy and Jon a bit more of a licence, Jon (Howson) perhaps more so in that respect, because as we all know he has a great energy to drive forward," he told the Pink 'Un. "Knowing Alex is there and doing what he does best frees Jonny to play a little bit off the shape. It worked (at Stoke) and its always a little bit easier to talk about it when it works.
"Alex had played a lot of games last season and not just that but a lot of games consecutively which perhaps he had not done before in his career. He picked up a little injury problem that knocked him back and he found it a little bit difficult to get back into a rhythm.
"Over the summer we went out and brought in other options and for me it is trying to get the right mix but he is a very good athlete. He trains well every day and he is always good when he has a little bit of momentum in his game."
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