Club news

Hughton: Defensive Discipline Will Be Crucial

By James Hilsum • 13 May 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton says his players will need to be defensively disciplined in their work off the ball, when they face Liverpool in the final game of the season at Anfield on Sunday.

Hughton is expecting a very similar test to the one provided by Manchester City on Wednesday, and pointed to the success which Huddersfield Town had in gaining two points from the champions and Chelsea without having much possession.

He said, “It’s no different [to Manchester City]. When you are playing against the top six away from home, Liverpool are going to have a huge amount of possession.

 "I saw a couple of stats from Huddersfield's last two games (Manchester City and Chelsea). They drew both games and had something like 20 per cent of possession.

 "That's what happens when you go away to the big clubs, particularly the passing teams like Liverpool.

 "You need to cope with the possession and intensity that they have got. They are a team that start very, very well and if you are not at it you can find yourselves behind very early.

"So as regards preparation it's no different. We were up against an outstanding team on Wednesday and we are up against an outstanding team on Sunday."

Jurgen Klopp highlighted Sunday’s match as their most important of the season, with the Reds needing a point to guarantee their Champions League status - Hughton admits that scenario makes the challenge ever bigger for his side.

 "Well it is [the most important game]. They have to get a point from the game, so of course it makes it their most important one.

“They have two ways to do it [qualify for the Champions League]. It's not guaranteed they are going to win the CL. I can understand him saying that and that of course makes it even more difficult for us."

The Seagulls boss also praised the quality shown by Liverpool as a whole this season, and feels that only Manchester City’s outstanding form has denied Jurgen Klopp’s side the chance to make a sustained title challenge.

“I don't think they're that far behind [challenging for the title].

“I think the only difference is that we've embarked on a season where Man City have been that good, because I don't see too much wrong with what Liverpool have done and Manchester United have done.

“They've brought in [Virgil] Van Dijk, who's a world-class centre-half. They've got great options. They allowed [Phillipe] Coutinho to go and generally nobody talks about him, so I think that shows how far they've come.

“I think they'll be very much title contenders next season, and I think probably all of those clubs are hoping Man City don't have the same type of season again.”

Fans can watch Chris Hughton’s full look ahead to today's game with Liverpool on Seagulls TV above and supporters can sign up to the service by clicking here.

Latest News

More News