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HUGHTON PLAYS DOWN RIVALRY INCENTIVE

1 October 2017

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton insists that his strong connection with Arsenal’s rivals Tottenham Hotspur provides no extra incentive, ahead of Sunday’s meeting at the Emirates Stadium.

The Seagulls boss made just short of 300 league appearances for Spurs over a 13-year period at the club, but he stressed that gaining a positive result on Sunday would be satisfying for different reasons.



He said, “I scored twice in a game against Arsenal and that was the only time I ever scored twice. But no, I must admit, as a manager, it's just about winning, whoever that is against.



“Would I have any extra satisfaction because it's Arsenal? No, the satisfaction I would have is that Arsenal are a Champions League team – although not this season – and any scalp or good result against one of the big teams is always a big achievement.
 
“Everyone knows my allegiances and as a player that would have been completely different. But as a manager you just want to get a win and particularly if you’re able to get something against one of the big teams.”

After losing back-to-back Premier League fixtures towards the start of the season, Arsenal have taken ten points from their previous four games, and Hughton assessed the different level of expectation between the clubs.

“They have levels of expectation based on what they have achieved. I suppose a couple of defeats on the spin is a bad period for them, but they have to work through it and they always do.

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"For us, coming back from losing two or three on the spin, and making sure we can turn it around, is more expected.



“But there isn't any team similar to ourselves who wouldn't go through that. It's about clearing a result as quickly as you can and focusing on the next one.


“That's why you always have to have that belief that, whatever the game, if you perform well enough, you are able to get something.”

A handful of young players featured in Arsenal’s midweek Europa League win over Bate Borisov, and Hughton praised the quality and depth of Arsene Wenger’s squad.

“They have tried very hard to give young players opportunities to play, mostly in the cup competitions.



“But this was a tough Europa League game and he was prepared to give young players an opportunity.
 
“It shows the depth that they’ve got in the squad, but you would expect that from a team that have been as good as Arsenal have been in this division for so long.”


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