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Hughton Expecting Different United Challenge

By Alex Stedman • 18 January 2019

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes the Manchester United they will face at Old Trafford tomorrow will pose a different threat to the team they faced in August. 

A 3-2 win at the Amex Stadium gave Albion their first victory of the current campaign thanks to goals from Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross, but the Seagulls boss says that result will count for nothing when his men face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils on Saturday afternoon.

He said, “It goes without saying they’ll pose a different challenge to the side we faced back at the Amex in August.

“I was at their game with Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium last weekend, and I thought they were very good in the first half before Spurs improved in the second. 

“Their recent form has seen them play in a way that allows their quality and pace to come through - they’re aggressive in the way they press too and are in really good form – it makes it difficult for us. 

“Since Ole’s taken over, the results speak for themselves – they’ve been able to win matches and score goals, whilst playing really well and the results and performances indicate how well they’ve done.”

Hughton also discussed the strategy that teams can adopt against the sides higher in the league, as well as reflecting on the change in formation that the team have adopted in recent weeks. 

“Bravery is something you need – but you also need quality and luck with a little bit of fortune, but you have to play well enough, that can be either playing a little bit more up against them and slightly more open to match them.

“You know that you’ll have to defend well and maintain a good structure, and you also know you’ll have to be good on the ball and take any chances that come your way to win the game.” 

“The change in our system has given us another option, it allows us to have three forward players and get people like Jurgen Locadia in the side. 

“It also gives us an extra player in midfield and if they’re the right type of players, then you hope you can keep possession of the ball a bit more than before.”

The boss was also asked about the idea that his side’s fortunes don’t attract the attention of other teams in the division, and Hughton believes that the side’s objectives haven’t changed despite their efforts so far this term.

“It’s something that suits us – because all we want to do is as well as we can, we’ve always said that the most important thing is the gap between us and the bottom three.

“But it’s normal to not be spoken about as much as the top sides, there will always be more focus on them no matter how well they’re doing. 

“To creep under the radar suits us because we know there’s still an awful lot of work to.” 

Fans can watch the manager’s full look ahead to tomorrow's game against Manchester United on Seagulls TV above – and supporters can sign up to the service by clicking here.

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