Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton says he knows his players have the desire and character to secure Premier League football for another campaign.
The Seagulls host Newcastle United at the Amex Stadium tomorrow in their third to last game of the season, and the boss emphasised his confidence in his side’s willingness to end the year strongly.
He said, “There’s no doubt in my mind that the dressing room has the character and determination to stay in this division.
“The current feeling in the changing room isn’t one we’ve experienced for a lot of the campaign – what you need in times like this is character and motivated players – our last two matches have shown we have that.
“The feel and the mood I see around the changing room is one of determination, and I see that on the training pitch too, it’s about putting that into practice.”
Hughton also spoke about the journey that the club has been on to reach the top-flight, and the hard work that had gone into ensuring the Seagulls reached the Premier League two years ago.
“You certainly learn about your players in tough times – this club has been through a lot and we’re not a club who’re as used to being in this division as others,” he continued.
“We’ve had some difficult periods to make sure we got here in the first place, and we were always going to have tough spells.
“The majority of the players have been here throughout our time in the top-flight - the situation is in our own hands and we have to go into every moment as confidently as we can but knowing it’s a challenge.
“In these times you look for people around you and you look for them to stand up and be counted, over the last two games I don’t think anybody can fault the endeavour from the side.”
The boss also reserved praise for the supporters ahead of this weekend’s game with Rafael Benitez's men, and knows they’ll play their part between now and the end of the season.
“The fans have been excellent, particularly considering that our form at home hasn’t been as good as last year.
“They have got behind us all campaign and we need more of that in these final three matches – we have two home games left and they’re more chances to get points.
“We know they’ll [the fans] be as they have all season – behind us and supportive to the team for the final push – if anything it’s also a final push for the fans as well."