Remaining games ‘very big’ for Brighton’s season, says Chris Hughton

Chris Hughton insists Brighton are preparing for each game as if it is the most important of their campaign, in their quest to avoid relegation

Chris Hughton says Brighton are treating each remaining league fixture as “the biggest” of their season, as they prepare for Saturday’s derby at Crystal Palace.

The Seagulls sit four points above Palace and, should Southampton beat Chelsea in the day’s earlier game, the Eagles would drop into the relegation zone only a matter of minutes before facing their rivals.

With Brighton themselves seven points above the bottom three, Hughton highlighted the importance of a positive result at Selhurst Park and admitted teams below his are “very capable” of winning games.

“It would be a nice one not to lose. It’s very difficult at this stage to speak about six-pointers, because they are all very big games,” Hughton said.

“Until we are in a position that we could see ourselves safe in this division, whenever that next game is becomes the biggest game.

“I’m very conscious of what this game means also to the club and to the supporters of both clubs, and of course that gives it an added emphasis on a result.

“There are a group of teams below us at this moment, and their challenge is to get as many points as they can.

“There is still a long way to go and we will certainly have to pull out, I think, some good results.

“There are groups of teams below us very capable of winning their games.”

It is a case of one in, one out for Hughton’s squad, who travel to Palace on the back of two defeats from their last three league games.

While Anthony Knockaert is available after serving a three-match ban for his sending-off in last month’s defeat to Everton, Davy Propper misses the trip following an unsuccessful appeal to overturn his red card against Huddersfield.

“We’ve still got options,” said Hughton.

“As somebody goes out… Knockaert is back in the squad, which is another plus for us.

“We certainly have to make the best of what we have.

“Every game for us, particularly every game away from home, is a very difficult game.

“Our performances have been mixed. We’ve had some very good performances away from home this season and some good results.”