Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton insists his side must not take their foot off the gas as they aim to steer clear of the Championship relegation zone.
The 1-0 defeat to Norwich City on Good Friday means the gap between Albion and the bottom three has been cut to nine points, but Hughton says he cannot fault the recent endeavour of his players.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “There are two bits to it – there are performances and there are results, and I don’t think anybody who saw the game against Norwich would have felt that the players had a lack of wanting to win the game.
“The lads work very hard to try and get a result. That’s my responsibility, but I’m sure that this group will continue to work hard because they’re all big games coming up that have an effect at either end of the table.
“We have a responsibility first and foremost that we get the points and that we go into every game looking to get a result.”
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The Albion boss revealed that he expects new loan signing Mustapha Carayol to play a part in the side’s remaining fixtures this season before praising Rohan Ince’s development as a player.
“He’s now done some three or four days training with us and for the Norwich game, I went with the lads that were really up to speed, but he has put himself in a position to take part in these forthcoming games.
“Rohan [Ince] is somebody that has improved in my time here and can play in a two or a three in the centre of the midfield; he’s trained really well. In that specific role he is the one that we have at the club that can do that. There is more to his game and he’s a young lad that can continue to develop.”
Finally, Hughton says that thoughts will only turn to strengthening the squad once Albion have mathematically guaranteed their Championship status for next season.
“You look ahead but first and foremost we have to secure our position in this league. We have six games to be able to do that; we’re confident that we will but there are a lot of teams around us and below us that will want to have something to say about that.
“Some of the results went well for us on Friday, but until we’re mathematically safe, then you can’t make firm decisions about next season.”