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HUGHTON GUARDING AGAINST COMPLACENCY

31 March 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton insists that his side cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal with eight games left of the Premier League season. 

The Seagulls host the Foxes on the south-coast today sitting six points ahead of the bottom three and in 12th position in the table, but the boss was keen to guard against complacency during the run-in.

He said, “I think that is how you have to be [still with the mentality of battling against relegation] and we also have some very difficult games in our last eight.

“We know how difficult it can be and we have to make sure we secure our status as quickly as possible. 

“We would be no different to any one of the other ten or 11 teams around us – we have big games coming up over the next few weeks regardless of the opposition.

“We’ve been good at home over the course of the season, our defeats have come to Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, so the Amex has certainly been a good place for us.

“Whoever we were playing at home in these next two matches, they were always going to be big for us.”

Hughton will go up against Claude Puel for the first time this season – the boss replaced Craig Shakespeare in the Foxes dugout back in October, and the Albion boss praised his opposite number.

“Since he has arrived in England he has done a very good job and he also had a very good record before he came here, he is obviously a very talented and good manager. 

“He gets the best out of players and I think he handled the Riyad Mahrez situation  extremely well.

“He knows the player, dealt with it in the correct way, and seems to have a lot of respect among the players there.”

The manager also spoke about the progress that last summer’s arrivals have made during their time out the club, and he discussed one individual in particular in the Albion defence.

“When I look at someone like Ezequiel Schelotto, I think it has been about breaking his game down a little bit. 

“If I look at where he played before, he played as a full-back, but was very offensive and I think what we have tried to do with his game is make sure he has got good energy.

“We want him to get forward but we want that off a base of being a good defender first.

“I think the teams he played for abroad probably had more licence and more scope to be more attacking. 

“He is 28 years of age, he has played at a good level and at some good clubs - we knew he was a good player and it is just getting him into our system, that’s all.”

Supporters can watch the manager's full look ahead to this afternoon's game on Seagulls TV  - fans can sign up to the service by clicking here.


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