Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton insists that challenges like the next eight days in the Premier League are ones that the supporters should embrace and enjoy.
Albion face the division’s top three sides in their last matches of the campaign, and the manager says the supporters thoroughly deserve to be involved with games like these.
He said, “It means everything to me to able to see what this football club and being in this division does to the Brighton and Hove area.
“Our approach with these last three games is that our supporters have been waiting years for fixtures like these, so we’re not daunted at all.
“We will have supporters who have not been to places like Manchester City and Liverpool on the whole, so it’s challenging but very exciting.
”I think that’s why they’ve been as vocal as they have this season and why our travelling support have been excellent in numberS because they’ve waited a long time for these games.
“It’s massively important for me to thank the travelling fans, and if anything, we need them more because we’re a new club to this division and the season is generally going to be tough.”
The Seagulls manager will come up against Jose Mourinho in the opposition dugout this evening under the lights on the south coast, and he praised his opposite number ahead of the contest with the Red Devils.
“Jose would be up there with one of the most influential managers over the course of my career, it’s difficult to single out one individual because there are so many top-class managers in the game.
“One of the best things about Jose for myself is his desire to manage in England. I remember he was desperate to get back into the Premier League when he was out of work for a short period of time.
“He’s someone who has taken a lot of people with him and around him – other managers and supporters.
“His record of winning shows his desire and he’s not someone who always plays the same formation – he’s flexible within that, has a winning mentality and there are many good aspects of his game to learn from.”
The hosts have suffered just four defeats on home soil this term, winning six and drawing eight of their games at the Amex Stadium, and the manager has been pleased with the home performances this season.
“It’s something that I’m very happy with this season because you can always look and say it could have gone better, but in this division against quality opposition ,it really pleases me.
“You can learn from the top teams – both Chelsea and Liverpool had moments where they were outstanding, and I think we have learnt lessons from those matches.
“The games against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been very important for our confidence, because the players can see that they’re capable of competing at a good level in our systems against those sides.”