Friday 27 April 2018

Brighton boss Hughton admits Foxes defeat increases pressure on Terriers clash

Albion host Huddersfield next weekend.

Chris Hughton
Chris Hughton

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Brighton boss Chris Hughton accepts his side’s late collapse against Leicester has increased the pressure on next weekend’s clash with relegation-threatened Huddersfield.

Albion had the opportunity to significantly boost their survival hopes on Saturday but Glenn Murray missed a golden first-half chance and then saw a penalty saved before goals from Vicente Iborra and Jamie Vardy stole the points for the Foxes.

Hughton’s Seagulls remain six points clear of danger with seven games to go following the 2-0 defeat.

They return to the Amex Stadium next Saturday for a meeting with David Wagner’s 16th-placed Terriers – who are just three points behind them in the scrap for Premier League survival.

“In this league, you finish your game and you see other results and other results either go for you or they don’t and we’re all in the same boat in that bottom half,” said Hughton.

“You’re either going to get a good result, and if you don’t, you hope the others (don’t).

“We will need points.

“Next Saturday is our next opportunity to get it and it’s at home so yes it becomes a very big game.”

Brighton were the better team on Saturday but, after Murray’s 77th-minute spot-kick was saved by Kasper Schmeichel, the momentum shifted in Leicester’s favour.

Spanish midfielder Iborra headed in the opener from Ben Chilwell’s cross seven minutes later and, after Foxes midfielder Wilfred Ndidi was dismissed for a second yellow card, England striker Vardy tapped home a second deep into added time.

Despite the late loss, Albion remain in a strong position to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Hughton, however, rejected suggestions that a further three points would be sufficient for safety.

“At this moment, probably no. But I have to think that way,” he added.

“I can’t afford to think anything different and the reality is nobody knows what it will take.

“We have to set our mark higher than only another three points.”

Leicester’s victory on the south coast made it four games unbeaten in the top flight to boost their Europa League aspirations.

Foxes manager Claude Puel admitted they were fortunate to win and knows they must improve to finish above seventh-placed Burnley.

“We didn’t come back from the international break, I think,” said the Frenchman.

“It was not enough in our play, in our aggressiveness, in our quality.

“With the sending off, it was courageous to resist to stay in the game and to make the difference.

“These three points are crucial for the next games and the future.”

Press Association

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