Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton says that Sunday’s game with Manchester City at the Amex Stadium is a challenge that his players can embrace.
The Seagulls host Pep Guardiola’s men on the south coast in the final game of the Premier League campaign, with the visitors still locked in a battle with Liverpool for the title, and the boss wants his team to tackle the contest and big occasion.
He said, “The motivation for ourselves on Sunday is easy, I’m delighted for the club to have such a big fixture as the last game of the season.
“To be playing in what is a high profile and meaningful game is great for this football club and very exciting – it’s one we’re delighted to be involved in.
“They have many threats, you can’t single out one player because of the quality they have across the side.
“It’s about playing against a top side, we have recent experience against them and we’ll have to get near those levels again to give us a chance of getting a result from the match.”
The manager also reflected on the club’s second Premier League campaign as a whole, citing that the overall aim for the season had been completed after a year of both highs and lows.
“It’s been a season that you have to look back on and say ‘job done’ – if we’d been offered survival again and a cup semi-final then we’d have obviously taken it,” he continued.
“There have been some lows and we’re aware of those periods and where we need to do better next season, our home form let us down slightly this campaign in a difficult part of the season.
“The reality is that we haven’t finished too far away from where a club like ourselves generally tends to finish, but there is a little bit of relief because we know what it could have been.
“But we thoroughly deserve our top-flight status and will hopefully look forward to a better campaign next time around.”
Friday saw the announcement that club captain Bruno would be retiring following this weekend’s game with the Citizens, and the manager spoke glowingly of the Spaniard’s influence both on and off the field during his time at the club.
“I have been aware of his decision for some time, with his role as captain I have many discussions with him and we very much left it to him.
“It’s a big choice, as we got towards the latter part of the season I think it became clearer – I’ve been at this club for four years and he’s been an integral part of my time.
“He’s been my captain and he’s been my voice in the changing room, he was here three years before my arrival and he will absolutely go down as one of the best free transfers that any club have had.
“He has a special feeling and relationship with this club – he’s a wonderful individual and at his age to still be playing at this level is testament to him and the way he looks after himself in the best league in the world.”