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HUGHTON'S BORO CHALLENGE

2 May 2016

Albion's manager's on this season as a whole, Saturday's game at Middlesbrough and James Wilson's late equaliser.


Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton has challenged his side to upset the home team favourites and win at Middlesbrough next week to clinch promotion. 

A 1-1 draw with Derby in the final home league match of the season means it is likely Albion will need to win in the north east next weekend - pending the outcome of Burnley's match with QPR.

The Seagulls boss says it underlines the excellent season his side has had, given they will travel to the Riverside next Saturday, still in with a shout of automatic promotion - and says he and his players are looking forward to the test.

Hughton said, "If somebody had told us at the beginning of the season that we had to go and win at Middlesbrough to get promotion, then we would have bitten their hands off.  Most challenges we have faced, we have risen to this season and this is going to be a very big challenge, but one that we will look forward to.
 
"They are at home, and that means they will rightly be the favourites, but favourites don't always win football matches. They are a good side and we have got no doubts that it will be very tough task, but a wonderful challenge for this group of players.

"We will have a good week and make sure that we do everything right and look forward to a very tough game on Saturday."

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Meanwhile, Hughton also hailed his team's resilience, as a stoppage-time equaliser maintained Albion's unbeaten run, adding, "It was a very important equalising goal from a momentum perspective and from our point of view it shows that even down to ten men how desperately we can work to get back into this game.

"It was one of those games – a close game – where I thought that perhaps the team who maybe had that little bit of fortune or that little bit of guile to create something that would prosper.

"We got into some really good areas in that first half, but we were up against a very good championship team today and it was a game that could have gone either way.
 
"Derby did very well. They got into a good shape and made it very difficult for us. When that is the case, you have got to be able to prise them open and you have to get into positions and have that bit of creativity.

"Sometimes it might be a set play that changes the balance and then the game opens up a little bit, but I thought that certainly in the first half we were the team more likely to score, but they had some good moments as well."
 
Finally, Hughton had no complaints about Lewis Dunk's red card, but says he will be a big miss at the Riverside - as he will serve a suspension.

"There doesn't seem to have been too many complaints, but I cannot speak categorically about it though because I have not seen it again.
 
"He will be a massive miss; he has been very good all season and even when he went through a difficult period earlier in the season, he showed great character to come through that and he has been excellent for us."


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