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Club News


27 January 2018

Kieran Cleeves
Chris Hughton speaking to the media ahead of Albion's visit to the Riverside Stadium.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes that the club’s fortunes have been on the up since their last trip to Middlesbrough, as the two sides face each other in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round this afternoon.

Today’s game will be Albion’s first visit to Teesside since the agonising 1-1 draw on the final day of the 2015/16 season, but Hughton highlighted the game as a key turning point in the club’s recent history.

He said, “From that day it’s been mostly good. If I'm looking at the disappointment from the end of that season, in some ways that drove the players on for the next season, which was a successful one.

“We're in a better place than where we were then. In some ways a harder place too, because this division is harder than what it was for us in the Championship.

“For us as a team and a club, we’re certainly in a better place and we’ve reacted and responded well to that disappointment.”

Hughton dismissed the idea that Albion’s disappointing previous visit to the Riverside Stadium would have any bearing on the players’ minds going into the game, and feels their focus will be solely on securing a place in the fifth round.

“We’re probably at the stage where it’s completely different and obviously a lot of things have happened since then.

“Will the players be thinking about the last game against Middlesbrough? Some players may think about that game, but I haven’t spoken to the players about that, and only about providing them with tactical information ahead of the game.

“I don’t think they will be thinking about it and will just be viewing it as having the chance to get through in another cup competition.

“It’s not a Premier League game, but if you’re looking outside the league we’re in, then it doesn’t come much tougher than this away from home with a new manager and a very good squad.

“That’s what they’ll be thinking, instead of thinking about what happened last time.”

The Seagulls boss was also quizzed about his record of having never been relegated as a manager, but explained that while he would like to keep that record intact, it's not something which comes into his thinking.

“It’s something I’d like to keep, but not something I think about. I think we know there are a group of teams that are not going to get relegated this season, and most people would be aware of what that group of teams is.

“Every team around that would be feeling exactly the same way, and that's about doing the best that you can, making the most of the resources and the players that you’ve got.

“When you lose a game, try to win the next one. When the team is down, you try to pick them up. When you win a game, you want the players to use that feeling going into the next game. It’s the stuff we all go through.”

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