Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton has not been surprised by West Ham United’s upturn in form after a difficult start to the season, and expects a confident team to arrive at the Amex Stadium this evening.
The Hammers have bounced back from four straight defeats with the same number of victories, but Hughton urged his players to up their levels and make the most of home advantage against Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
He said, “They didn’t start the season too well, but with what they brought in, it was only a matter of time until they turned that around.
“They’re in very good form at the moment and I’d imagine they’re playing very close to how the manager has always wanted to play.
“It seems to be a habit that teams hit good form just before coming to the Amex, that’s certainly what West Ham have done and that’s probably no surprise.
“But we know what we’re capable of when we’re at our best or close to our best, and we know what we have to do to get results against any team.
“We’ll have to get back to that type of level, and certainly use the fact that we’re back at home.”
Marko Arnautovic arrives on the south coast with four goals in his six Premier League matches this season, and Hughton believes the Austrian will pose anotherchallenge for Albion's centre-back pairing.
“He’s a good player. This is the beauty of our game — when we went there he didn’t have the best of times, but he’s certainly turned that around and his position has changed.
“He went there in more of a wide position, but now he’s in a more advanced position. He shows great strength and quality. In the form he’s in, he’ll be a real threat.
“It’s another great challenge for our centre-halves. Credit to them, during my time here, I’ve seen them develop with some tough games and tough opponents. Arnautovic will be another one for them.”