(Reuters) - Brighton and Hove Albion must work hard to spoil Manchester United’s momentum in Friday’s Premier League match and get a crucial win to secure their top-flight status for next season, the hosts’ manager Chris Hughton has said.
Brighton have lost three and drawn as many of their last six league matches to drop to 14th in the standings on 37 points. Despite being five points clear of the relegation zone, the Seagulls are not yet completely safe.
United have narrowly beaten Brighton in the league and FA Cup earlier this season but Hughton is confident his side can get a better result at the Amex Stadium.
“You have to go into every game thinking you can get a result - we’ll be buoyed by our previous matches but United are in a good rhythm - these are the challenges we’ve worked so hard for,” Hughton told a news conference on Wednesday.
“We have to be good on the ball and cause them problems - for any side that has their quality you know they’ll be offensive and you know at times they’ll take chances going forward.
“We have an opportunity on Friday to do ourselves a big favour... if we can perform as well as we did against them on the previous two occasions then we give ourselves a chance.”
Brighton could still get dragged into trouble in the closing stages as they travel to champions Manchester City and third-placed Liverpool in their final two matches of the season.
However, Hughton said he was content with Brighton’s overall campaign as the club have the chance to secure a mid-table finish in their first season in the Premier League.
“If you’d given me this situation at the start of the season with these three games to go I would have settled for that. Of course there are some frustrations at missed points but overall we’re relatively happy,” Hughton added.
Brighton’s squad is fully fit for the United clash with the exception of midfielder Steve Sidwell, who has missed the entire season with a back injury.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge