Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton is looking for an improved display from his side against Wolves this afternoon at Molineux, as the Seagulls look to take another step towards top-flight survival.
Albion take on Nuno Espirito Santo’s side today knowing that a win would pull them five points clear of the bottom three for at least 24 hours, and the boss stressed the need to focus on the team’s strengths between now and the end of the season.
He said, “It’s vitally important to keep continuity and it’s about analysing why we haven’t done as well recently, I know the strengths of my side and I have to get the team playing in the way I know we can – it’s about the individuals playing as well as they can within specific roles.
“I can’t make players something they’re not – but what I can always do is to get the best out of them, so you have to look at what is at your disposal and what the facts are.
“We need to do well enough in these next five matches – as a group of players, if we want to finish the season in the best way we can, we have to improve.”
The manager also re-emphasised the importance of the side’s fate still being within their own hands with five games to go and assessed the situation honestly.
“If we are able to get the points we think we might need then it doesn’t matter about other results, it’s still in our own hands,” he continued.
“It would of course be nice to take the lead in games and have an opposition that have to think about ways of getting back into the game and perhaps opening up a little bit, so scoring the first goal is also obviously important.
“The reality of where we are at this moment in time is that our fate is still in our hands, I don’t think it’s fair to talk about just ourselves and Cardiff either, because there are still other sides who are not yet mathematically safe.”
Hughton also spoke about the messages that he would be giving his side between now and the season’s end, stressing the need for hard work and character.
“All I can do is tell them the facts – we have five games left and are two points above the bottom three, it’s in our hands and we don’t want to rely on other teams.
“It’s about making sure we all work as hard as possible to make it happen – what you want to do is get the best out of the group.
“We’ve been in a position in the league that’s never been comfortable, but it was one we would have been happy with – and now we have to enjoy the challenges of what the remaining games will bring.”