Saturday 15 December 2018

Chris Hughton wants to build on Brighton’s cup form

The Seagulls travel to Southampton in the Premier League on Wednesday night.

Middlesbrough v Brighton and Hove Albion – Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Round – Riverside Stadium
Middlesbrough v Brighton and Hove Albion – Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Round – Riverside Stadium

By Press Association Sport Staff

Chris Hughton hopes to build on the FA Cup feelgood factor when Brighton head to Southampton.

The Seagulls landed a last-16 tie at home to Coventry after they sneaked past Middlesbrough thanks to Glenn Murray’s fortunate strike on Saturday.

They go back to the day job of battling against relegation on Wednesday evening against fellow strugglers Southampton, who are a point and two places below them in 18th.

Boss Hughton, who will hand a second debut to striker Leonardo Ulloa after the Argentinian rejoined on loan from Leicester, says his entire squad are in high spirits.

“Any game you play, whether it’s a cup game or a league game, that filters through to everybody in the squad, for the ones who played and the ones who didn’t,” Hughton said at his pre-match press conference.

“It’s great to be in the next round of the cup. It was a good feeling coming in the next morning, on the back of a win and still in the competition.”

Brighton have won just twice on the road this season and boss Hughton knows a third success along the south coast at St Mary’s would provide a major boost to their survival hopes.

But he is wary of a Southampton side also in desperate need of three points.

“You look at every team on the merits of the quality they’ve got and the way they play,” he added.

“They have a lot of offensive options, they play a very good brand of football and they have a lot of quality.

“It’s a surprise they haven’t won the number of games their quality allows them to, but that’s the level of competition in this league.

“Looking at their performances, they’ve been very close in a lot of games.

“It makes it a very difficult game, particularly away from home. They’ll be quite strong at home, so we have to be very guarded.”

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