Hughton handed Gross boost

Chris Hughton anticipates that Cardiff City will have been lifted by his Brighton side's dismal display in Saturday's 5-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.

The Seagulls entertain Neil Warnock's team on Tuesday in a crunch fixture and Hughton is desperate for his side to bounce back following Saturday's mauling.

Brighton are still five points clear of the Welshmen as Cardiff were beaten 2-0 at Burnley. Brighton can be backed at 1/1 to beat the Bluebirds and at 5/2 to win the match by a one-goal margin.

Hughton said of Cardiff: "They are going to fight and scrap and, if any team have been lifted, it might be a team lifted by our result at home. They are going to come here and give us a very difficult game.

"I have a group of players that know they have performed nowhere near well enough against Bournemouth to get something from a game. Our responsibility is to make sure that we work hard enough."

Pascal Gross could feature in Tuesday's match after recovering from a hamstring injury. The German has been sidelined since picking up the problem against Leicester City in February.

Meanwhile, Solly March is set to replace Anthony Knockaert who was sent off for a dreadful challenge on Bournemouth's Adam Smith at the weekend.

March has recovered from the calf injury that forced him to miss the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City earlier this month and Saturday's humiliation against Eddie Howe's team.

Knockaert will be suspended for the games against Cardiff, Wolves and Tottenham.

‘Manly’ Seagulls please Hughton

Chris Hughton felt his Brighton side were 'manly' in taking three crucial points with a 2-1 over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Former Palace forward Glenn Murray gave the Seagulls the lead with his 100th league goal, volleying home from 18-yards after a mistake from James Tomkins.

Leading at the interval, the visitors were pegged back when Luka Milivojevic scored from the penalty spot within five minutes of the restart.

Anthony Knockaert was to prove the match winner for Brighton, curling a brilliant shot into the top-left corner from 25 yards with just over a quarter of an hour to play.

The win moved Brighton eight points clear of the Premier League relegation zone and left Hughton delighted.

"It's a manly performance and, particularly after conceding that goal in the second half, the place was rocking and they had all of the momentum," said Hughton.

"It could have gone the other way but it didn't and we stuck at it and scored two great goals. We want to see that more often from him [Anthony Knockaert]."

Murray wasn't down to start the game but he was drafted in when Florin Andone injured his thigh in the warm-up.

The 35-year-old, who had scored for both teams in previous contests between them, won the praise of his manager.

"If Florin Andone plays then you don't know how he would have done, but Murray is someone used to this level of game and to see him back scoring is great. He's been unlucky and missed chances, but you hope that if he continues to get them then he will put them away," added Hughton.

Brighton are 11/10 to win away at Millwall in the FA Cup quarter-finals next weekend, while Palace are 2/1 to bounce back by Watford at Vicarage Road in the cup.

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Hughton still believes in Knockaert

Chris Hughton has confirmed that French forward Anthony Knockaert will return to the Brighton squad for the clash with Tottenham on Wednesday evening.

The 26-year-old was left out of the Seagulls squad at the weekend, as Albion suffered a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Huddersfield Town – with Knockaert having scored just once so far this season.

However, Albion head coach Chris Hughton has no doubt that Knockaert has plenty to offer in the coming months, starting against Spurs at Wembley.

He told The Argus: "I made a decision to go a certain way in the game against Huddersfield and also on the bench. We've got a very competitive squad at the moment and around that I have to make decisions.

"Sometimes you make good decisions, sometimes not so good, but I have to make those decisions around what I see at the time.

"It's tougher for him (than last season), the same as everybody.

"If I am looking at the goals and assists he had last season, he is up against better full-backs and better players, as is everybody else."

Having started life back in the English top-flight with some solid results, the Seagulls have stuttered in recent weeks and are without a win in their last five games.

Home draws with Stoke City and Crystal Palace are the only two positive results they have gained in the last month, with Albion suffering defeats at the hands of Manchester United, Liverpool and then the Terriers.

Brighton can currently be backed at 5/2 to be relegated come the end of the season, with Crystal Palace available at 11/8 and Newcastle United 3/1.

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Trio deal boost for Seagulls

Brighton have been boosted by the news key trio Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy and Anthony Knockaert have signed new long-term contracts.

The Premier League new boys have handed defender, Dunk, and winger, Knockaert, five-year deals until 2022, while Republic of Ireland international defender, Duffy, who signed in a £4million deal from Blackburn 12 months ago, has penned a new four-year deal.

Dunk and Duffy forged a strong defensive partnership during last season's promotion-winning campaign, while 25-year-old Knockaert, who has scored 20 goals in 65 league games for the Seagulls since joining from Standard Liege 18 months ago, was named Championship and Albion player of the season.

Seagulls boss Chris Hughton said on the club's website: "Lewis, Shane and Anthony were key members of our promotion-winning side last season, and I fully expect them to be important members of the team once again this season.

"They're relishing the step up to the new level and they each have the capability to perform and excel in the Premier League – and they have certainly earned these new deals with their performances on the pitch.

"It's been a really straightforward process getting everything completed and I'm absolutely delighted that three key members of the squad have committed their futures."

Brighton, who are 8/13 to stay up this season, are priced at 4/1 to defeat Knockaert's former club Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. The Foxes are 7/10 to win and the draw is 13/5.

Hughton hopeful on Knockaert

Brighton manager Chris Hughton is hopeful that Anthony Knockaert will be fit enough to face Manchester City on the opening weekend of the season.

The 25-year-old sustained ankle ligament damage in the opening stages the Seagulls' pre-season friendly victory against Fortuna Dusseldorf last Friday.

The French winger, who scored 15 goals last season as Brighton clinched promotion from the Championship, is making good progress from the injury though and may have made a full recovery in time to face Pep Guardiola's side in just over three weeks' time.

"When he did it, you always think the worst and he has got a ligament injury but it's slight which is good," Hughton said of the former Leicester City and Standard Liege player.

"We're very hopeful he'll make the start of the season. The good thing is he's got the tough two-and-a-half weeks of training under his belt.

"At the moment, we're looking at a three-week period for him. We'll assess it over this period, it will either be very good news or it will take a little bit longer."

Meanwhile, Hughton has completed the capture of midfielder Mathias Normann on a three-year deal.

The 21-year-old has made 42 appearances for the Norwegian side FK Bodo/Glimt in the last four seasons.

Brighton, 6/5 to be relegated this term, are 8/1 to beat Manchester City in 12th August and 17/2 to draw 1-1 with Guardiola's side.

Seagulls wait on Knockaert injury

Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton is hopeful that an ankle injury suffered by Anthony Knockaert proves not to be too serious.

The 25-year-old French forward had to be replaced early on in a 2-0 pre-season friendly win over Fortuna Dusseldorf and was later seen leaving the ground on crutches, with his ankle in a protective boot.

And Hughton says the Seaguills medical staff will take a good look at the problem when it has had a chance to settle down over the next few days.

He told The Argus: "It is a concern. Anthony generally rides these challenges and when he came off, it's not like him.

"We'll wait and see, there's no point thinking the worst. We'll see how it is over the next couple of days and hopefully it won't be so bad."

Meanwhile, Albion are reported to be closing in on a deal to make Gent midfielder Renato Neto their fourth major signing of the summer.

Having already drafted in goalkeeper Mat Ryan, defender Markus Suttner and forward Pascal Gross, the Seagulls are keen to bolster their midfield options.

Twenty-five-year-old Neto helped Gent to a first-ever Belgian league title in 2014/15, having joined the club from Sporting Lisbon

Brighton can be backed at 6/5 to be relegated next season, while they are 4/6 to avoid the drop in their first campaign in the Premier League.

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