Albion's manager looked ahead to the two-legged semi-final tie.
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton says the points difference between his side and Sheffield Wednesday will count for little going into the two-legged play-off semi-final tie.
Albion finished the league campaign 15 points and three places ahead of the Owls, but the Seagulls boss was keen to stress that Friday night’s result will be determined by the performance on the pitch and not by the statistics.
He said, “Mentally we can take positives from our finish in the table, but they will also take something from not losing to us this season.
“These are things everyone talks about before the game.
“Ultimately it’s on the day and you generally don’t have much control on how the players perform. You can set the team up tactically, make them aware of strengths and weaknesses but once the whistle goes, it’s about a team performing.
“Nobody knows what the performance will be like; I hope ours is good enough to win the game or if not, good enough to keep us in the tie for the second leg.”
The Albion manager will reach the milestone of 500 days in charge of the club at Hillsborough on Friday night, and he paid a glowing tribute to his players for the remarkable change in fortunes during this period.
“The players have certainly surpassed my expectations for this season.
"I didn’t expect to start the campaign level on points with the team that finished in second place.
“When I came through the door it was already a very well-run club, not just on the pitch but also in all of the departments. We have a wonderful environment here.
“I was fortunate that when I arrived we were on the back of two good results. We were positioned just outside the bottom three, but it didn’t feel like it around the club, that was certainly an advantage.
“I have been able to use the elements here at the club and slowly, but surely, determine what I want from the team.”
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Hughton looked more closely at the threat posed by Sheffield Wednesday and believes that the Owls have recruited very well and thoroughly deserve their place in the Championship play-offs.
“They have a team and squad that is worthy of the position they are in.
“It’s such a tough league with so many quality teams, teams that have come back down from the Premier League and are then trying to get up again. Any team that finishes in the top six deserves it.
“They have also made some excellent signings, with the likes of Aiden McGeady, Gary Hooper and Barry Bannan. They are all players with the quality to play in the Premier League.”
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