Hughton hopes Brighton can replicate last season’s ‘breakthrough’ Arsenal win
Brighton have lost their last three matches.
Chris Hughton is hoping for a repeat of Brighton’s “breakthrough” when Arsenal return to the Amex Stadium on Boxing Day.
Brighton ended their wait for a victory over one of the Premier League’s top six last season when goals from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray secured a 2-1 home victory over the Gunners in March.
Now in their second Premier League campaign, the Seagulls have lost their last three matches and find themselves in need of some festive cheer.
And Hughton hopes the memories of that victory, a crucial one in their successful survival bid, will inspire his side.
“Having won promotion the summer beforehand, one thing we were very conscious of was how difficult it is to play against the top six,” said the Seagulls boss at his pre-match press conference.
“It was a breakthrough for us. You look at pivotal moments in any season — one was getting our first win at the Amex, then our first away win and then our first win against a top-six team.
“We’d found it difficult – we played Manchester City on the first day of the season and that was a very tough game, and Chelsea was a difficult game as well.
“The Arsenal win was a fairly significant moment for us and one that we deserved.”
Defeats to Burnley, Chelsea and Bournemouth may have dented confidence on the south coast but Hughton has backed his side to come through their testing schedule.
“When you’re Brighton in the Premier League, only in your second season, every period for us is a tricky period. Every game that we play is a difficult game,” he added.
“We’re going through a period of games in a short period of time, and we’ll have to play at a level to get something from the matches.
“For any tough period that you think you’re going through, it’s exactly the same for a huge number of other teams.
“We just need to make sure that we prepare ourselves in the best way we can and endeavour to get as many points as we can.”
Shane Duffy returns from suspension against the Gunners but fellow centre-half Dunk serves a one-match ban.