Belfast Telegraph

Brighton boss Hughton not focused on points target

The Seagulls will be aiming to avoid a third straight league defeat.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton knows his side still have work to do to secure their top-flight status (Nick Potts/PA)
Brighton manager Chris Hughton knows his side still have work to do to secure their top-flight status (Nick Potts/PA)

Brighton boss Chris Hughton wants his side focused on delivering results again and not trying to work out how many points might keep them in the Premier League.

The Seagulls will look to move on from last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City when they return to the battle for top-flight safety.

On Saturday, Bournemouth, themselves not yet mathematically out of relegation trouble, head to the Amex Stadium where Hughton’s side will be aiming to avoid a third straight league defeat.

“Nobody knows a points total that will keep us safe,” said the Brighton boss, his side currently five clear of the relegation zone.

“Our attitude has to be to keep fighting and getting as many results as we can between now and the end of the season.

“One calculation is about where we finish and the points tally, but development can be measured in different ways.

“I think we have made progress this year. We have changed the system at times.”

Despite the disappointment of being edged out by title-chasing Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley, Hughton believes his squad can take confidence from their efforts into the final seven league matches.

“The group have felt good about our performance last weekend,” Hughton said at a press conference reported by the club.

“To run a top-class side fairly close speaks volumes for this group of players.”

Hughton confirmed German midfielder Pascal Gross and Solly March have both returned to training following their recent injury lay-offs, so could come into contention.

Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo recently made his welcome return from a knee injury.

Hughton admits it had been a difficult period to get through with the some key men not available.

“Jose has been a miss for us – he scored five goals last term,” the Brighton boss added. “But it’s part and parcel of the game and you have to be able to cope.

“You sometimes look at other clubs, and some have had it worse than us, you have to get on with it.”

PA

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