Hughton wants winning feeling again

Brighton celebrate Glenn Murray's late winner against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Brighton celebrate Glenn Murray's late winner against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Albion boss Chris Hughton welcomes the break from league action tomorrow and says a FA Cup victory at Middlesbrough will boost the squad heading into Wednesday's match at Southampton.

The Seagulls beat arch rivals Crystal Palace 2-1 in the last round and Hughton expects a tough match at a Middlesbrough side who sit eighth in the Championship.

Brighton have won just one of their past 13 Premier League games and Hughton said: "With us now being in the Premier League, it is in some ways a welcome break from the rigours of this division.

"What comes with that is the excitement of playing in a cup competition.

"In the last round we had a very difficult game against Crystal Palace and we were delighted to get through that one, so this is one we're very much looking forward to.

"We know what a win means, whether it's league or cup. We know the feel it gives the group and as we did in the last round, we will use the squad."

On facing a Boro side who have won three of their five matches under Tony Pulis, Hughton said: "They've had some ups and downs so far this season regards their form but they're a team I very much expect to have a strong run through to the end of the season.

"Tony is a manager I know very well and a game against any of his teams is always difficult.

"They're at home and on the back of a very good win against Queens Park Rangers, so we expect a very difficult game."

Following the cup tie, Albion have crucial Premier League games against Southampton and West Ham in the following week.

Hughton said: "We know how important those games are, particularly in the position we are but you can't look too far ahead as you take your eye off what is important.

"We want to be in the next round of the FA Cup.

"There's a better feel for the next few days going into the next league game if you win a game than if you don't.

"All our focus is on this game, which will be a very difficult one."