Brighton aim to boost survival chances by slowing down Spurs’ top-four challenge


Brighton & Hove Albion could gain an almighty boost towards their fight against relegation if they win at Tottenham on Tuesday.

A tenth victory of the season for Chris Hughton’s side would see the Seagulls move six points clear of the relegation spaces, with Newcastle United, Arsenal and Manchester City remaining.

Brighton’s hopes of surviving a drop to the Sky Bet Championship were boosted by a 0-0 draw at Wolves on Saturday, and Seagulls boss Chris Hughton described it as a perfect remedy to cure a run of six consecutive defeats in all competitions.

“When we asked the players for a response, we certainly got that in what they were prepared to give and how hard they were prepared to work.

“We probably could have been a little bit better in our link-up play, in the times that we broke, but we knew it would be difficult and about making sure we got back to a clean sheet.”

The Seagulls are without a win since 9 March, when Glenn Murray and Anthony Knockaert converted either side of a Crystal Palace penalty that was neatly dispatched by Luka Milivojevic.

During that time, the South Coast club have scored just twice – in the FA Cup victory over Milwall – but are without a goal in five Premier League matches. However, despite the Seagulls’ goal-scoring limitations, Hughton is confident of his side avoiding a return to England’s second tier for the first time since their promotion to the top-flight in 2017.

“The feeling in the changing room has been okay, and probably the reason for that is that we’ve been okay in this division for long periods, in regards to the position we’re in.

“We have a great group of supporters that travel in their thousands for every game, so we always give them the respect that they deserve.

“But we’ve been on the back of two big defeats — particularly the last one, because it was a team that’s close to us in the division, so I think that hurt us.”

On the other hand, victory for Tottenham would all but confirm European football for Mauricio Pochettino’s side for next season.

With Arsenal and Manchester United suffering defeats on Sunday, Spurs could move six points clear of sixth place.

With Brighton fighting for Premier League survival, the challenge of beating Spurs could be no more difficult with the London side having dropped points against teams in the bottom six just twice this season (suffering defeats at Burnley and Southampton).

Spurs were unfortunate to return from Manchester City empty handed after producing an encouraging performance at the Etihad Stadium. Phil Foden’s fifth-minute header proved to be the decisive factor but having had ten shots and four on-target when in Manchester, Pochettino called upon his side to be clinical in order to achieve the results needed to secure a top-four spot.

“I’m disappointed with the result but the performance was very good,” said Mauricio. “It was tough but we handled the game really well. We created a lot of chances and I thought at least we deserved a draw but in football, sometimes you get what you deserve, sometimes not.

“The key moments are so important, to score, to take advantage. We were a little unlucky. Ederson was man of the match and I think in the way we played today, we were very competitive.

“Now we have to move on because Tuesday [v Brighton]is coming so quickly, then Saturday [v West Ham]and then the semi-final against Ajax, three games that are going to be decisive for our dreams and to be in the top four next season.”


About Author

When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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