March 29, 2018 / 4:15 PM / a month ago

Soccer: Brighton's Hughton calls for focus ahead of tough run-in

(Reuters) - Brighton and Hove Albion cannot afford to get carried away by their Premier League position and could face a potentially tough climax to the current campaign, manager Chris Hughton said.

Soccer Football - FA Cup Quarter Final - Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - March 17, 2018 Brighton manager Chris Hughton applauds fans after the match. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game against Leicester City at home, Hughton said that 12th-placed Brighton were still not out of danger and had to ensure they do not slip-up in the home stretch of the season.

The promoted south-coast club will face champions elect Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Liverpool among other teams in the coming weeks.

“We have eight games left and we have some very difficult games and we will have to play at a level to get points that are needed to stay up,” Hughton told reporters on Thursday.

“I’d have been delighted if someone told me we would be in this position... when you go into the season you know you’ll have a motivated team who will give everything they can to make sure we stay in this division. But you just don’t know.

“The signs were there early in the season that we could at least compete but competing and getting results in this division are two different things.”

Brighton went undefeated in February, scoring wins over West Ham United and Swansea. They beat Arsenal 2-1 earlier this month but came crashing down with a 2-0 defeat at Everton before the international break.

Brighton have 34 points and a win on Saturday will help them edge closer to the 40-point mark usually associated with guaranteed survival.

“We’ve played consistently well in recent weeks and got results over the last month or so. I think we play better under pressure. We now look like we have more of a goal threat going forward,” Hughton said.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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