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Hughton does not agree with decision to show VAR replays to fans in the stadium

Brighton face Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday.

Chris Hughton has led Brighton to their first FA Cup semi-final since 1983 (Steven Paston/PA)
Chris Hughton has led Brighton to their first FA Cup semi-final since 1983 (Steven Paston/PA)

Brighton boss Chris Hughton is not convinced of the merits of showing Video Assistant Referee (VAR) replays to supporters at games.

Footage will be displayed on the big screens at Wembley if a decision is overturned during this weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals, including Albion’s clash with Manchester City on Saturday.

Hughton feels fans inside stadia need to know when a referral is taking place but is unsure about screening footage and thinks the verdict is sufficient.

“Probably as regards what we show the supporters, then I’m probably not so much in favour of that,” he said.

“I am for VAR, I probably wasn’t. But like a lot of us in this position, I have been persuaded because we know it’s going to come in.

“What the supporters need to see is that firstly there is a decision to be made.

“Once that decision is made, it goes up on the screen what that decision is and we move on.

“At this moment, I think that’s enough.”

Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens disagreed with his manager and thinks screening replays will help clear up controversy for players, fans and referees.

“I think it will show clarity, if anything,” said the 29-year-old.

“There will be no grey areas and it will probably help both teams and the officials.

“No matter what they do with it, as long as they get the right outcome, I’ll support it.”

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Dale Stephens believes VAR replays will add clarity (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Albion have lost all three of their Premier League meetings against City by an aggregate score of 7-1 and not beaten them for 30 years.

Pep Guardiola’s side are chasing an unprecedented quadruple and are overwhelming favourites for the cup tie.

Hughton believes City are among the best teams in the world and feels it would be “foolish” to attempt to play attacking football against them.

“At this moment they are one, if not the best team in the world with an array of players that are top players,” he said.

I think it's foolish to go toe to toe. I'm certainly not embarrassed to say that you have to be able to try and contain them Chris Hughton

“And the reason why they are top players is they are not only technically gifted but they’re a fit side and they’re a very, very motivated side, hence the reason why they are going for all four trophies.

“I think it’s foolish to go toe to toe. I’m certainly not embarrassed to say that you have to be able to try and contain them.

“They have too many options if you feel that you can take the game to them, play a very open game. They have so many strategies that can open you up.”

The Seagulls, who will be backed by almost 35,000 fans in north-west London, have made the last four of the competition for just the second time in their history having lost to Manchester United in the 1983 final.

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Hughton feels it would be foolish to go toe to toe with Manchester City (Martin Rickett/PA)

Despite their underdog status and defensive approach, Hughton says his players cannot afford to have a negative mentality as the attempt to spring an upset and progress to play either Watford or Wolves in next month’s final.

“If we are defeatist from the moment we’re walking on the pitch then there’s only one outcome,” he said.

“To give us any chance at all, we’ve got to be positive about the way we want to approach the game.”

PA

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