Hughton talks up Magpies clash

Brighton boss Chris Hughton accepts that his side now face a massive game at home to Newcastle United on Saturday, having narrowly lost 1-0 at Spurs.

A late Christian Eriksen strike denied Albion of a point at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and left the Seagulls just three points clear of the Premier League drop zone with three games to play.

And, with clashes with Arsenal and Manchester City to follow the visit of the Magpies, Hughton is only too well aware that a win is something of a necessity at the weekend.

He told reporters: "From our point of view, perhaps if we made a few better choices on the ball and managed the game a little bit better in the last period, then I think we come away with a result.

"To come here and put in a performance, albeit a gritty, defensive performance, it speaks volumes.

"We know we have to take that into Saturday's game, which now becomes our biggest game. We'll be up against a Newcastle team that have been good away from home and have a system they use very well.

"We'll need goals and what we'll need to do is win the game in whichever way possible."

Brighton, who have now failed to score in any of their last seven games in all competitions, are 6/5 to win on Saturday, with the draw priced at 21/10 and a 1-1 final scoreline available at 11/2.

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Hughton: We’ve not downed tools

Chris Hughton accepts that his Brighton team have endured their worst spell of the campaign at exactly the wrong time.

The Seagulls have failed to score in their last five Premier League matches although Saturday's goalless draw against Wolves at Molineux did at least bring their four-match losing run in the top-flight to an end.

Brighton, who are currently available at 6/1 to be relegated this season, visit Tottenham on Tuesday and are 9/1 to beat Mauricio Pochettino's team.

Hughton said: "I don't think anybody could accuse a group of players at Wolves on Saturday of it not meaning enough or downing tools. Absolutely that's not the case.

"We are a team of our level playing in the Premier League and up until probably the last month or so we've been in a decent enough position in the league.

"Probably our poorest period came at the worst time. But that happens when you're playing in a division as difficult as this and when you are the level of club that we are. We have to find formulas and pull out results to get the points that we need."

Albion have taken nine points from a possible 42 in 2019 but Hughton is refusing to accepting that defeat at Spurs is inevitable.

The 60-year-old, who won two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup during his playing days with Spurs, added: "I was there all in all for 27 years and I have lots of memories as a player and as a coach.

"I'm looking forward to going to the new stadium. How much I'll enjoy it will be down to the performance the team put in but I'm hoping I can enjoy it."

Anthony Knockaert is suspended for the game and Davy Propper injured.

Hughton praises Seagulls spirit

Brighton head coach Chris Hughton was pleased with the efforts of his players after the Seagulls earned a potentially precious point from a goalless draw at Wolves.

Albion ended a run of five straight defeats in all competitions with a dogged display at Molineux, although they were unable to end a run of six games without a goal which has seen them far too close for comfort to the relegation places.

Hughton, though, was happy with the spirt shown by his side and was content with a hard-fought share of the spoils which moved his team three pints clear of the drop zone.

He told Sky Sports: "We asked the players for a response and we certainly got that with what they were prepared to give and how hard they were prepared to work.

"It's hard coming here as they've got so many good footballers. You know if you open up too much, they can hurt you. We could've been better with our link play, the times that we broke.

"But we knew it would be difficult and we knew if we could keep a clean sheet we would give ourselves a chance.

"For long periods we've been okay in the division and we're on the back of two defeats that hurt us, and people questioned our confidence.

"But you can't become a bad team overnight. This has hopefully set us up for what will be another four difficult games."

Brighton are now priced at 9/2 to be relegated this season, while they are 1/7 to avoid the drop and maintain their Premier League status.

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‘Proper fight’ for Seagulls

Chris Hughton acknowledges that defeat at home to Cardiff City means his Brighton side are in a 'proper fight' to preserve their Premier League status.

A stunning Nathaniel Mendez-Laing goal gave Cardiff a half-time advantage at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday and they cemented the win with a header from Sean Morrison in the second period.

It ensured Neil Warnock's team moved to within two points of Brighton. Cardiff are in 18th place on 31 points with four games left, while Brighton have got five games remaining.

Brighton have conceded seven goals in two home games without reply following their 5-0 thumping from Bournemouth at the weekend.

With Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City amongst their five remaining games, Hughton knows their position has become perilous now.

"It's a reflection of where we are. We had a lot of possession in their half but we are not scoring to get that breakthrough and we are putting ourselves under pressure," said the Brighton manager.

"We are on the back of two poor home defeats. We don't have a choice and we have a fight on our hands. This is a proper fight. We have to make sure we turn it round by staying together, digging deep and making ourselves hard to beat."

Brighton are 9/4 to be relegated, with Cardiff now 1/3.

Only relegated Fulham (six) and Huddersfield (four) have won fewer Premier League points in 2019 than Brighton (eight) so far. Hughton's side have now lost three consecutive home league games for the first time in over three years.

Brighton are 9/2 to get back on track by winning at Wolves on Saturday, while Cardiff are 14/1 to take three points from title chasing Liverpool when they visit the Welsh capital on Sunday.

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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.

Hughton: Albion have to respond

Brighton boss Chris Hughton says his side simply have to react quickly and strongly to a 5-0 home thrashing at the hands of South Coast rivals Bournemouth.

The Seagulls have now lost four games in a row in all competitions without scoring a goal and face a massive clash with Cardiff City at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Bluebirds are currently in third relegation spot, with Albion just a place and five points better off than Neil Warnock's men.

And Hughton is only too well aware of just how important the game on Tuesday is in the overall battle to beat the drop.

He told reporters: "They know how poor a performance it was. The team have no choice, on Tuesday night people, especially me, will be looking for a reaction.

"There isn't one player in that dressing that hasn't been through an embarrassing or humiliating defeat and had to go again, it's the nature of the game.

"We have to go again, take this game – which was our worst defeat and overall performance – on the chin. We will have a motivated Cardiff team that will be here on Tuesday."

Brighton will definitely be without winger Anthony Knockaert for the foreseeable future, after he was red-carded for a late lunge on Adam Smith in the loss on Saturday.

Hughton added: "When things aren't going well, players have to deal with the frustration. He didn't deal with it. He was sent off and rightly so.

"We have had conversations at the end of the game. He is aware he's let the team down."

Brighton are 5/6 to defeat Cardiff on Tuesday, with the draw priced at 12/5, while a 1-0 home victory is available at 5/1.

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Hughton ‘proud’ of beaten Seagulls

Chris Hughton felt there was much for his Brighton team to take confidence from after a 1-0 FA Cup semi-final loss against Manchester City.

The Seagulls tough task became even trickier when Gabriel Jesus but City in front inside four minutes at Wembley, but Hughton's men didn't cave in.

Indeed, City were grateful to Aymeric Laporte's clearance from right under his own crossbar in the second half, with Glenn Murray poised to score for Brighton.

Kyle Walker was also fortunate to escape a first-half red card after a VAR review for thrusting his head into the face of Brighton's Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

Pep Guardiola's team did enough to advance to next month's final against Watford or Wolves, but Hughton was 'incredibly proud' of Brighton.

"I am incredibly proud. After conceding after three minutes I don't think there was anyone in the stadium that thought the second wasn't going to come," he said.

"We hung in and to go through the 90 minutes and, apart from the goal, I struggle to think of a real clear chance. That wouldn't have happened often, if at all, to them this season."

Brighton must now focus on ensuring their Premier League survival according to their manager.

They are currently 16th, five points clear of the relegation zone with seven games left to play. Their next two games are at home to Bournemouth and Cardiff City, the Welsh side currently occupying the third and final relegation spot.

"The most important thing is to take that into the difficult games. We have got vitally important home games. We have to get something from those two," Hughton added.

Brighton are 13/10 to beat Bournemouth next Saturday. The Cherries are 21/10 while the draw is 11/5 for the Amex Stadium clash.

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Hughton vows to keep it tight

Dutchman Jurgen Locadia and Solly March could miss Brighton's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday against Manchester City.

Locadia missed Wednesday's 3-0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea because of a calf injury, while March picked up a similar problem during the Stamford Bridge clash.

Meanwhile, Seagulls boss Chris Hughton is prepared to keep Saturday's match tight for as long as possible although he does not think it is beyond the realms of possibility for his team to cause a major shock.

He said: "It's foolish to go toe to toe [with Manchester City] and I'm not embarrassed to say you have to try and contain them.

"If you play an open game they have too many options and too many strategies to open you up, starting with a goalkeeper who can play a pass from 70 yards.

"We have to stay in the game. We want to start well because the last thing you need is to be out of the game very quickly. If we are concentrated, determined, have a good structure – and City don't have one of their better days – we have a chance.

"If we are defeatist from the moment we walk on the pitch there's only one outcome. We have to be positive about our chances."

Brighton are 10/1 to qualify for the FA Cup final and 16/1 to win the competition outright.

Hughton plays down chances

Chris Hughton believes the pressure will be off his Brighton players on Wednesday as nobody expects the Seagulls to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Brighton are 16/1 to be relegated this season after losing 1-0 to Southampton on Saturday while Chelsea needed two late goals to secure a 2-1 victory at Cardiff City 24 hours later.

Hughton is expected to name a much-changed starting line-up for the Stamford Bridge clash as they face Manchester City in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday, a competition Brighton are 16/1 to win this season.

Hughton said: "We have got closer to the top six this season, certainly as regards the scorelines.

"I thought Cardiff played well on Sunday and it took the quality Chelsea have got to get the result in the end. I think it was encouraging, but also we are still very conscious it's a very hard game for us.

"In some way the pressure is off us. I don't think anybody expects us to go there and get anything. I would like to think or hope we can use that."

Brighton can be backed at 9/2 to draw with Chelsea on Wednesday while they are available at 8/1 to keep a clean sheet against Maurizio Sarri's team, who are 13/8 to finish in the top four this term.

Hughton calls for big reaction

Brighton manager Chris Hughton is hopeful that Florin Andone could feature in Wednesday's game against Chelsea but Pascal Gross remains sidelined.

Romanian striker Andone has not played since he sustained a thigh injury during the warm-up last month at Crystal Palace while Gross has been out since sustaining a hamstring problem against Leicester City in February.

Hughton said: "Pascal Gross is still not available. Florin trained again this morning [Monday] so we are hopeful he will be in the squad."

Meanwhile, the Seagulls boss is keen to bounce back from Saturday's disappointing 1-0 home loss to Southampton – a result which left Brighton 15th in the table, just five points above the drop-zone.

Hughton added: "All due respect to Southampton, but if you are looking at the quality of player that Chelsea have got, they are a top-six team. So it will be very difficult but I will certainly, irrespective of the result, be looking for a reaction.

"We are conscious that people talk about a six-pointer. Of course there isn't any such thing, but mentally you've got a team that were three points below us that are on the same points as us now. It's a massive win for them and psychologically it's a blow for us.

"I know Huddersfield have gone down, but everybody is fighting. There are Premier League points up for grabs on Wednesday and, in which ever way, we are going to have to try to get some."

Brighton, 20/1 to be relegated this season, can be backed at 10/1 to beat Chelsea on Wednesday.