Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton has challenged his players to maintain their high standards following two excellent performances in the back-to-back victories over Birmingham City and Leeds United.
Following the defeats to Blackpool and Nottingham Forest, Albion have embarked on a four-match unbeaten run which has seen them move six points clear of the bottom three, but Hughton is mindful of what he expects to be a very different test at the Macron Stadium.
He said, “We’ve gone from two similar types of games away from home, both against teams that we knew would play fairly direct in the way they play, to two tough home games against teams in a similar position in the league.
“Leeds perhaps came into the game in better form than Birmingham, but it is the games at home that we have really got to force the issue to get goals to win the games.
“Now we are reverting back to a couple of weeks ago with the away games and it’s just about making sure we approach this game in the same manner to give ourselves every opportunity to get a result.
“The most consistent teams are those that are in the top six. For the rest of us, and that’s a very big group of teams, it’s about trying to get that consistency.
“Generally what has happened with this group of teams is that you can go on a good run, but then you have to sustain it and we found it hard to sustain.
“We have to be conscious that we’ve had two good results. The results on Tuesday night went very well for us as regards to the teams around us, but if we don’t keep up then our fortunes can change very quickly.”
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The Albion manager is also pleased that more competition is being generated in the squad following the recent additions of Beram Kayal and Emmanuel Ledesma, with the latter yet to make his debut for the club.
“When you bring someone in, you bring them in for lots of reasons; to use the qualities you brought them in for, to be a part of squad and to generate competition in that squad.
“If I look at Calde’s form in the last two games then it’s made it a little bit more difficult for Ledesma. That’s part and parcel of the game. He would also see the form that Calde is in after three goals in two games, but it doesn’t mean he’ll only be here for a month.
“He’s here for an initial month and it might be one where if we feel it’s right, then we can extend it. He will have the same frustrations as somebody else who’s not playing.”