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HUGHTON WARY OF AN ARSENAL REACTION

4 March 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Chris Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton has dismissed Arsenal’s recent poor form, and says his players will have to be wary of a reaction from the Gunners when they visit the Amex on Sunday.

The north Londoners head into the match following three successive defeats, including consecutive 3-0 losses to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup Final and the Premier League, but Hughton stressed that Arsene Wenger’s side still possess plenty of quality.

He said, “Any game plan we have against Arsenal on Sunday will be no different to the one had it been played a week ago or two weeks ago; we are playing against a team that is full of top individuals who can hurt you.

“We have to line up our team and prepare exactly for that; they are on the back of three defeats and will be desperate to turn it around.

“I expect to be playing against a very motivated Arsenal team on Sunday.”

Hughton has been pleased with the timing of Albion’s current six-match unbeaten run in all competitions, likewise the strength in depth within the squad, particularly in the forward areas.

“The confidence is as high as it’s been this season, because this is the best run we’ve had this season.

“The timing of the run is important because we have some big games coming up.

“We’ve been fortunate with injuries and we’ve got a lot of players who have been part of the mainstay of the team, but at this stage of the season you want as much competition as possible.

“The fact we’re still in The FA Cup has enabled us to use the squad as well and there’s a good feel amongst the group.

“We need that to continue because it’s a tough run-in for us, starting with a very difficult game against Arsenal on Sunday.”

The Seagulls boss assessed the side’s record against the so-called 'big six', and admits results against the top teams in the final ten games of the season will need to improve.
 
“We still have to play five of the top-six clubs and we will need to get something from those games.

“We certainly need to do better against the top six. The reason we haven’t is because of the quality they’ve got.

“We’ve played well and had periods against the top teams, but their quality can hurt you. For 70 minutes against Manchester City, I thought we acquitted ourselves really well, we then made one mistake and they capitalised on it. That’s the difference and the gap we have to try and bridge.”


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