Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton is eager to end the season with a positive result away at promotion-chasing Middlesbrough on Saturday, as a reward to the loyal supporters who have followed the side this season.
There is little riding on the game for the Seagulls, who are mathematically safe from relegation, but Hughton stressed the importance of ending the campaign strongly.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “For us it’s about winning the game. We’ve got a big support travelling a long way for a game that doesn’t really hold too much significance, in what has been a difficult season for our fans.
“Hopefully we can finish the season with a good performance and a good result. We’ve all felt the supporters’ frustrations and they’ve had to travel a long way in most of our away games, so it’s important that we put in a good performance for them.
"In some ways, it’s a difficult one for Middlesbrough. There’s no doubt that they will want to win the game and carry some momentum going into the play-offs, but they also have those games to consider as well."
LATEST NEWS FROM SEAGULLS.CO.UK
- PREVIEW: MIDDLESBROUGH V ALBION
- ALBION ACROSTIC: MIDDLESBROUGH
- ALBION AND MIDDLESBROUGH FIVE-A-SIDE TEAM
- CLUB'S THANK YOU TO FANS
- HUGHTON ON: MIDDLESBROUGH
“In a year’s time it can be completely different. I can understand the frustrations that the players and the supporters have after two seasons of getting into the play-offs.
“The expectation levels rise among the supporters; they see the fabulous stadium and training facilities that we have and want to see us continuously progressing.
“But every club will have a time where they don’t reach those expectations. One thing we’ve learned from this season is the margins are not massive between where we are and the top of the league.
“But we need to make sure we do the work that will enable us to have a far better season in the next year.”