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HUGHTON PREPARED FOR MANCHESTER CITY REACTION

9 May 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton expects to a see a positive reaction from Manchester City after their goalless draw against Huddersfield Town over the weekend, but insists his players will approach the game as normal.

The Seagulls visit the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night, looking to replicate Huddersfield’s resilient performance against the Premier League champions - but Hughton is prepared for a difficult game against Pep Guardiola’s side.

He said, “What I wouldn't want to do is take anything away from Huddersfield and say that Manchester City were not at their best - that would be a disservice to a Huddersfield side who worked as hard as they did.

“But it doesn't happen often. They showed what you have to do to have any chance of getting something.

“They normally bounce back, you don’t expect them to lose or draw too many games, but our approach has to be exactly the same.

“Our season is not over. We’ve got two very difficult games and we’ll take big support to both games. We’ll have a lot of support that wouldn't have been to those stadiums before.

“For as much as I want us to play a certain way, I’m also realistic and know that they don’t come any harder than these next two games.”

Albion are likely to come up against the Premier League’s top goalscorer Mohamed Salah when they visit Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, and Hughton commented on the qualities of both the Egyptian and City’s Kevin De Bruyne.

“For me, De Bruyne is the more complete player. I think it’s taken an exceptional season from Salah to win it [Player of the Season] ahead of De Bruyne.

“The progress that De Bruyne has made over the last couple of seasons has been huge. He’s a player that could play for any team in the world.

“But Salah has been exceptional and it would be so unusual and unjust to take it away from him.

“To score that number of goals in one season, in the way that the game is now and how competitive it is, it speaks volumes for the way Liverpool have played as well.

“Salah scores goals at will, and I suppose it’s goals that make you win games and lose games.”

Victory over Manchester United last Friday erased the pressure on Albion going into their final two matches of the season, as they secured Premier League survival, and Hughton highlighted the incredible journey the club has been on.

“I’ve been here almost three-and-a-half years now and I’ve seen the development. But, of course, there are individuals at this club that have seen far more.

“They’ve been through the tough times to what we have now, which is a wonderful stadium and a fabulous training facility in the Premier League.

“It’s been a really good joint effort between everybody at the club. We’re now regularly filling the stadium to 30,000, and there’s a lot of people at the club that can remember the times at Gillingham.

“It’s been a wonderful pathway and it’s one that we want to continue.”


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