Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton has praised the anticipated capacity crowd for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie against West Bromwich Albion at the Amex Stadium.
Another large home crowd is expected for the visit of the Baggies to the south coast, and the Seagulls boss praised the influence of the club's supporters on his team’s fortunes so far this term.
He said, “It will be a near full house and that’s testament to what the players have done and the way they’ve performed.
“To attract the crowd figures that we have shows you that the side are doing something right – money is harder these days and it costs to come to matches, but the club creates a very good environment and do the best with the prices to get as many fans in as possible.
“It makes a real difference in a difficult league, both home and away – we have a good home record and part of that is down to the support we receive. It’s really good news that this weekend will see another big crowd.”
Hughton’s opposite number on Saturday afternoon will be Darren Moore, who became permanent manager of the Sky Bet Championship side in May.
Having twice led the club to the Premier League as a player, the Seagulls’ manager was full of praise for the job his counterpart has done since taking the reins at the Hawthorns.
“He’s done a fabulous job – it’s never easy after a club is relegated but he’s picked up some really good results.
“On a lot of occasions when a club drops out of the Premier League, the feel can diminish because you might be losing quite a few matches. But there’s been a good feel factor at the club since he’s been in charge and in the end, there weren’t too many surprises when he got the job.
“It’s difficult to bounce straight back up but they’ve been consistent in a very competitive league, they’ve been in and amongst it and they’ve done it the right way – he’s done an outstanding job.”
Albion advanced through round three with a 3-1 victory away to AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium earlier this month, and Hughton revealed he’ll be looking to use the squad's depth again for this weekend’s tie.
“We’ll approach the game in the same way as any stage of the season – we’re delighted to still be in the cup after such a tough draw away from home in the last round.
“It’s a tournament we want to remain in, we will use the squad in the same way as we did against Bournemouth and I think we’re in a healthy position at the moment with the depth we have.
“There aren’t too many players that haven’t played games this season – we’re well equipped and it’s a game we want to win.”
“It’s a difficult one to figure out and try to analyse in terms of their priorities, all we can do is prepare ourselves to play against the best side possible.
“They’ll be very motivated and they’re still a very big club despite last season – they've retained a lot of their squad from the Premier League and they’re pushing hard in their division, so we have to make sure we’re fully prepared.”
Albion fans yet to secure their tickets are advised to do so in advance, ahead of the increase in price from 9am on Saturday.
There is still time to take advantage of tickets priced at just £15 for adults, and from £5 for concessions, which include travel. But these will rise by £5 in all categories on the day of the game.
Click here for more details.