Monday 16 September 2019

Brighton boss Chris Hughton is wary of Everton threat after their tough start

Chris Hughton's Brighton host Everton on Saturday
Chris Hughton's Brighton host Everton on Saturday

Brighton boss Chris Hughton fears Everton's poor start to the season will make them even more dangerous opponents.

Toffees chief Ronald Koeman is already under pressure just seven games into the campaign, with his expensively assembled side lying just above the relegation zone.

Defeat to newly-promoted Brighton on Sunday would only crank the heat up further, but Hughton expects the Dutchman to turn things around eventually.

"It's normal in the game. Any team, particularly a top team that have spent well, there is always pressure on managers," he said.

"But he is an outstanding manager and is big enough to cope with any pressure coming his way. When you have big players generally things will turn in your favour

"Is it a good time to play them? No. You have to look at the team and the players you are playing against.

"They've played four of the big teams in seven games and probably not started as they would have liked to.

"But with all good players and good teams they will turn it around - so if anything I look at it the other way round.

"They are playing a team that have just got promoted. They've had a difficult start as regards to the fixtures but they will do well this season with the quality they have got, and if anything that makes them even more dangerous."

Wayne Rooney's powers may be on the wane these days but Hughton says the former England captain remains a special player, and one who will feel the benefit of having not been involved with the national team over the past fortnight.

"I think you have to be wary because of the quality he has got," added Hughton.

"Even though perhaps what position he plays in now can vary, he's someone who never loses that quality, and not being involved in the internationals will give him an extra spring in his step.

"He's a real quality player and one you have to be wary of."

Glenn Murray is likely to start up front for the Seagulls following an ankle injury, while midfielder Davy Propper has shaken off the hip problem he suffered on international duty with Holland.

PA Media

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