Hughton: We're still the underdogs

Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton manager Chris Hughton insists his in-form side still go into tomorrow's match with Arsenal as the underdogs.

The Gunners have lost seven of the 13 matches they have played this year and the last three in a row.

However, Hughton says his side, who are unbeaten in six games, will have to be on top of their game and cannot underestimate Arsenal with the quality they have.

He said: "For most people, we will still be underdogs. You can't underestimate the quality they have got.

"It's been a difficult couple of games but they were playing a team (Manchester City) who were playing as good a football as we have seen in this county for a long period of time."

With five of their remaining ten games against sides in the top six, Hughton feels Brighton will need to break their duck and get a result against one of the big teams in the Premier League.

He said: "Our best chance of doing that was at Old Trafford, that was probably our best performance in any of the games against the top six.

"Going into this last ten games of the season, we need that to change as we play five of what you regard as the top six clubs.

"We will need to get something from one of them or some of them, whatever points they are.

"What we've found is even in games where we've played well and had periods, that real quality can hurt you. Manchester City, in the first game of the season, for 70 minutes we acquitted ourselves really well, made one mistake and they capitalised on it.

"That's the difference and that's the gap we have to try to bridge over this next period."

With the Seagulls 12th in the Premier League and unbeaten in six matches, Hughton admits confidence is high but added he is still not comfortable with his side's position in a tightly-congested bottom half of the table.

He said: "Confidence is as high as it's been this season because this is the best run we've had.

"We are on a good run and the timing is important as we have some very big games coming up.

"We're certainly not comfortable because of how the table is.

"Probably when I've been asked would I have been happy to be in this position at the start of the season, I would have to say yes.

"At this moment, we're in there with a lot of teams and a lot of teams would have faniced being well above us in the table but its a tough run-in for all of us.

"This is a period of the season where we're going to have to show the quality we have and the resilience we have more than at least three other teams.

"Overall I've been pleased with a lot of what we've done but we still have a lot of hard work to do."

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