February 7, 2018 / 7:43 AM / 6 months ago

Soccer: Brighton must avoid tough finish to stay in top flight - Hughton

(Reuters) - Promoted Brighton and Hove Albion have shown they are capable of staying in the Premier League but must continue to work their way away from the bottom half of the table to avoid a tough finish, manager Chris Hughton has said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton vs Brighton & Hove Albion - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - January 31, 2018 Brighton manager Chris Hughton before the match Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Brighton, who are 13th in the league with 27 points, beat West Ham United 3-1 on Saturday for their first win from five league games this year.

“We’ve shown enough this season that we can stay in this division but we’re going to go through a pressure period and it will be the teams that work better under that pressure that will make sure and stay clear of it,” Hughton said.

Brighton travel to relegation-threatened Stoke City on Saturday and league strugglers Swansea City a fortnight later before matches against Arsenal, Everton and Manchester City.

“They’re big games for obvious reasons, because of the teams that we’re playing against and points that they’ve got,” Hughton said.

The south-coast club take on Manchester United at home and Liverpool away in the final two games of their campaign and Hughton said Brighton had to consolidate their standing before those matches.

“You should never be fearful of any game but they are very difficult games and, yes, we would like to be in a good position before then.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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