PA Sport

Chris Hughton has told Brighton not to become complacent

Chris Hughton has told Brighton not to become complacent
By PA Sport

07/12/2018 at 13:43Updated 07/12/2018 at 15:12

The Seagulls have five wins from their last eight Premier League outings.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton warned his side will face a “rude awakening around the corner” if they lose sight of their Premier League objectives.

The Seagulls are unbeaten in three games as they head to Burnley, with five wins from the past eight league outings after defeating rivals Crystal Palace 3-1 at home on Tuesday night.

While his side may now be in the top 10 and fans allowing themselves to gaze up rather than look anxiously over their shoulder at the battle for survival, Hughton is not about to lose sight of the bigger picture.

“My focus hasn’t changed, irrespective of any league position. Once you start changing your focus and thinking you’re better than you are, then there can be a rude awakening around the corner,” he said.

“For a side like ourselves, who have won some matches on the spin like we have, you can also see it go the other way.

“My focus isn’t on our league position, what I do think is about making sure we distance ourselves from the teams below us.

“We just want to improve both as a team and a club while gaining as many points as possible.”

Brighton will check on the fitness of forward Glenn Murray, who picked up a shoulder problem against Palace, and winger Jose Izquierdo, carrying a knee concern, ahead of the trip to Turf Moor.

Burnley, meanwhile, find themselves stuck in the relegation zone, after collecting just two points from the past eight matches.

It is in stark contrast to last season’s push towards European qualification, with Sean Dyche’s men unable to build any sort of momentum.

The Clarets lost 3-1 at home against Liverpool on Wednesday night, which was a fifth league defeat at Turf Moor, so often a veritable fortress during previous campaigns.

Hughton, however, warned against any sense of complacency for the journey north.

“They did very well last season, but haven’t hit those heights this year – that is just the nature of the division, but there’s no doubt their exploits last season have raised the expectations,” Hughton said at a press conference reported by the club.

“To have to play in Europe when you are not a top-six side is always going to be difficult given the number of matches and their squad size.

“I thought they were good on Wednesday against Liverpool and they have not changed much since last year.

“At the moment things are going against them, but they’re a strong side at home and a team who are more than capable of putting a good run of results together.”