Chris Hughton wary of Sky Blues as cup final pain lingers more than 30 years on
Hughton has suffered previous big-stage disappointment against Coventry.
Brighton boss Chris Hughton wants to avoid another painful FA Cup shock at the hands of Coventry.
Former defender Hughton was targeting his third winner’s medal as a Tottenham player when their star-studded team suffered a surprise 3-2 extra-time defeat to the unfancied Sky Blues in the 1987 final at Wembley.
His Premier League team are even stronger favourites for Saturday’s fifth-round clash, with Coventry now in League Two and currently 63 places below Brighton in the football pyramid.
Victory would put Albion into the quarter finals for the first time in 32 years.
But Hughton knows the dangers of the underdog all too well, remembering the famous upset which saw a Tottenham team featuring the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Chris Waddle and Ossie Ardiles denied the trophy by John Sillett’s Coventry.
“We were favourites going into the game and not only favourites, we scored very early in the game,” Hughton said.
“Most might have thought that we’d go on from that and win the game but we came up against a very spirited Coventry side.
“We’d won the cup on a few occasions before; for them it was a massive, massive occasion and whenever I’m around anything to do with Coventry that’s the one that’s always brought back, that ’87 cup final.
“For them in their history it was brilliant but a real difficult one for us and I remember the game very well.
“A real coup for Coventry and a very disappointing day. I know it’s steeped very much in their history.”
Albion, whose most recent quarter-final appearance came during the 1985/86 campaign, have arguably been handed the most favourable tie of the round.
They did, however, suffer an embarrassing fourth-round exit to National League side Lincoln last season, while opponents Coventry have already knocked out top-flight Stoke this campaign.
Hughton will remind his players of the humiliating 3-1 loss at Sincil Bank in the hope of avoiding another dismal day.
“Certainly it’s one that we will bring up,” Hughton said of the defeat to the Imps.
“The majority of people that are around would have been here or know the effect that game had on the club at that particular moment.
“We all know that three, four days later, you’re on to other things and it can be swamped by everything else, but it’s a horrible experience and you don’t want to go through that too often.
“There won’t be too many players of my age that played, or have played for a period of time, that won’t be able to say they weren’t on the back of a real bad one and certainly I have as a manager.”