Chris Hughton: Brighton will have to "play well" against "outstanding" Spurs

The Seagulls boss spoke on a number of topics as his side prepare to welcome Tottenham to the AMEX Stadium.

Chris Hughton: Brighton will have to "play well" against "outstanding" Spurs
Photo: Getty Images - Bryn Lennon

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton met the media on Monday afternoon to preview Tuesday evening’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Following a 3-2 loss in the A23 derby at Crystal Palacethe Seagulls sit in 13th place in the Premier League table, seven points from safety with 35 points with six games remaining.

Hughton knows Brighton will "have to play well" against Spurs

The manager knows that the Seagulls will have to play well on Tuesday to get anything from a difficult clash with Spurs.

He said: "We’ll need to play well on Tuesday – we’re at home but we know that they’ll have the bulk of possession because of the way they play, they’re an expansive side."

He praised Mauricio Pochettino's side, saying: "They’ve had an outstanding season and have really developed each year, so we’ll have to play at a good level and nullify their strengths and threats that they have.

"But we also have to be a threat ourselves, we can’t defend for too long in the game because they have good quality."

Brighton boss doesn't think Tottenham will be "distracted" by upcoming FA Cup semifinal

Following Tuesday's game, Spurs play Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals in the days following their visit to the AMEX but Hughton doesn't think that will play much into the outcome of Tuesday's meeting. 

He stated: "I don’t think they’ll be distracted by Saturday – with the aspirations that come with a club like theirs, they still have the ability to finish in second place in the league. 

"What you find with the top clubs is that they’re used to any rotation they have to make because they tend to go far in a lot of competitions.

"I think they’ll be focused on us firstly and then Manchester United once our game with them is out of the way."

Hughton discusses "safe point total"

Normally, 40 points is enough to stay up and with Brighton on 35, a couple of more victories or a win and a couple of draws should do the job. Hughton isn't concerned with a specific number.

He answered: "I honestly can’t afford to think that way as a manager – I think we’ll need points but nobody knows the number we'll need. Every team in this division is capable of winning any game".

He feels that: "The best way to approach it is to think that we’ll need some points out of these final few games. We can’t afford to fear the sequence of matches that we have left – over the season we’ve handled ourselves very well on the whole. 

"This club has worked hard to get into this division to play against this quality of opponent – what we need to do is take where we are in this league into these games.  For long spells this season we’ve managed to stay in a healthy position in the league, we have to take our strengths from that."

Hughton praises new league champions Manchester City

With West Bromwich Albion's shocking 1-0 victory over United clinching the title for Manchester City, Hughton was asked about the Citizens, who the Seagulls played on the opening day of the season.

He said: "We played them in our first game of the season when they had a good summer – as the season went on we started to think it may not have been a bad time to play them because we met them before they got into the rhythm of their game.

"They’ve been absolutely outstanding – in both the way they’ve played and dominated games, as well as being strong in defence too – whenever a side has a season like the one they’ve had, you tend to look at the individuals involved."

Hughton concluded: "There are so many players who’ve stood out this season and that’s a mark of a top quality team, and most are looking forward to seeing how they develop now."