Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes this afternoon’s opponents AFC Bournemouth can be an example for the Seagulls to follow.
The contest between the two sides at the Vitality Stadium today pits Hughton’s side – approaching the midway point during their second season in the Premier League, against the Cherries – and the boss spoke highly of today’s opposition.
He said, “I think they’re a very good example for our club – we’ve also had opportunities to play against them outside of the Premier League – for where there are as a coastal side who have come through the leagues, they’re a team and a club that are in a far better place than they’ve been in the past.
“We’ve spoken about Southampton before and how we’d like to achieve what they have, and it’s the case with AFC Bournemouth too.
“They’ve developed the squad and they’ve had to move with the times, you only have to look at their current side and see that they’ve got faces who have come through the leagues with them.
“You always feel that they still have that core group who know the club and the way the team plays, and that’s a real strength for them.”
Eddie Howe’s side have won just one of their last eight matches, but the Albion boss emphasised the tough nature of the division and guarded against complacency ahead of the game along the south coast.
“Their recent form is a consequence of how difficult this league is – I’ve spoken about the narrow wins we had a few months ago and highlighted still how they could have all gone either way.
“There wouldn’t have been too many arguments if they had – you can go through a good spell but sometimes it goes the other way.
“Having seen many of their games, they’re not playing badly, it’s just sometimes things go against you.”
The game against Howe’s men is Albion’s first of four in 11 days across a festive period, and the boss emphasised the need to embrace the sequence of matches in England’s top flight.
“We’ve got a busy and tough period coming up, and they’re the type of games that we’ve worked incredibly hard to be involved in.
“When they come about you can’t fear them – it’s difficult as manager to look forward to those types of games, because you know the magnitude of them.
“But we’ve already proved that we can get results in any game and so they are the challenges we’ll have to continue to rise to.”