Hughton wants to avoid repeat of cup upset

Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Chris Hughton has been on the wrong end of one cup upset against Coventry - and is eager to avoid another shock at the Amex this afternoon.

Brighton, 14th in the Premier League, begin today's match as huge favourites against League Two Coventry but Hughton certainly won't be taking anything for granted.

Hughton won the FA Cup as a player with Tottenham Hotspur in 1981 and 1982 but lost the 1987 final 3-2 to Coventry, after Spurs started as big favourites.

Hughton said: "I remember Clive Allen scoring very early in the game and because we were favourites, most might have thought we would go on and win the game.

"But we came up against a very spirited Coventry side. For them in their history, it was brilliant but a real difficult one for us because we went in as favourites.

"Whenever I'm around anything to do with Coventry, that's the one that's always brought back up, the 87 cup final."

Hughton was also on the wrong end of a cup shock last season when the Seagulls exited the FA Cup 3-1 at non-league Lincoln in the fourth round.

That will add to Albion's motivation against the Sky Blues and Hughton said: "It's one we will bring up and the majority of people here will have been around. If they didn't play, they would have been here and know the effects that game can have on a club at that particular moment.

"Three or four days later, you're on to other things but it can swamped by everything else. It's a horrible experience and you don't want to go through it too often."

Much has been said in the past few years about the FA Cup losing its magic, with so much emphasis on clubs staying in the Premier League, but Hughton said: "There is no doubt that it's changed and I think you've only got to watch the FA Cup ties.

"Back in the day, when we didn't have the subs we do now, you would have had the league game on the Saturday and probably no changes for the FA Cup game the following Saturday and then no changes again.

"It has changed for most clubs and they will use it differently but it's still as exciting as ever.

"It gets more exciting the further you go. One way to sum up a delight of getting through is the draw. To have gone through and have to wait for the draw makes it still as exciting as ever."

The draw for the quarter-finals of the FA Cup takes place at 8pm tonight. Albion or Coventry will be ball number seven.