Friday 22 February 2019

Boss Hughton happy for Brighton’s progress to go unnoticed

Albion are eight points clear of the bottom three.

Chris Hughton’s Brighton face Manchester United on Saturday (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Chris Hughton’s Brighton face Manchester United on Saturday (Gareth Fuller/PA)

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Chris Hughton is content for Brighton to “creep under the radar” in their quest for Premier League survival.

Albion have built a healthy eight-point cushion to the top-flight relegation zone but rarely make headline news.

That gap owes a lot to the Seagulls’ solid home form and, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester United, manager Hughton admits he is happy to steer clear of the limelight.

“I think it’s something that suits us because ultimately all we can do is try and put on the best performances we can,” he said.

“We’ve continually said that in our progress the most important thing for us is to have as big a gap as we can between us and the bottom three.

“It’s normal. If you’re looking at what we see in the game now and the heights of the Premier League, there is always going to be more focus on the top teams, whether they are doing well or not. And sometimes there is more focus on them when they’re not doing so well.

“I think just to creep under that radar suits us because we know we’ve got an awful lot of work to do.”

Brighton have enjoyed two home wins over United since promotion to the Premier League in 2017.

Both of those successes at the Amex Stadium came against a side managed by Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese departed Old Trafford last month, with his interim replacement Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoying six successive victories in league and cup.

Hughton has been impressed by the early work of the Norwegian.

“You can only assess from the time that he took over. The results speak for themselves,” he said.

“What they have been able to do is win games, look like scoring goals, playing really well.

“Probably any manager coming in after Mourinho, I don’t think they could have expected any more because the results and the performances indicate that.”

Despite losing both Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan and Iran winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh to the Asian Cup this month, Hughton has resisted temptation to make any January signings.

He is not anticipating any arrivals before the transfer deadline, but expects the imminent loan departure of left-back Markus Suttner to an unnamed club, while fellow defender Ezequiel Schelotto could also leave.

“I don’t know if it’s been confirmed yet but Suttner will go out on loan. And that’s probably all I see (happening),” said Hughton.

“Schelotto is another one that will possibly go out on loan.

“I don’t see anybody coming in and I certainly don’t see anybody else going out.”

Press Association

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