Brighton boss Hughton wary of Fulham's offensive threat

Chris Hughton says Brighton & Hove Albion will have to be on their game when they travel to Fulham this evening.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 2:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:29 pm
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

The Cottagers are second from bottom in the Premier League and Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has said it's a game his side must win.

Fulham are seven points from safety, while Brighton are 13th in the top flight and seven points clear of the drop zone.

The Cottagers spent more than £100m in the summer by signing Jean-Michael Seri, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Alfie Mawson, Joe Bryan, Fabri, Maxime Le Marchand, Andre Schurrle and Sergio Rico. They also brought in Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Callum Chambers and Luciano Vietto on loan.

Former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel joined Fulham earlier this month and made his debut in their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham last time out.

Looking ahead to the game, Hughton said: "Their form hasn't gone how they would have liked, certainly with what they brought in during the summer.

"But that's the Premier League and the difficulties of the Premier League. What I have seen in Fulham are some good displays.

"If I look at their last performance at home to Tottenham, it was a performance which probably should have got them more than what was the result.

"They had some good chances, particularly in the first half so they don't look like a team that have had a difficult season which always makes it hard.

"For a club like ourselves going to Fulham at this stage, they're always very difficult games.

"We'll have to play at a good level because I think they have real quality in the side, particularly offensively thinking of the options they have got.

"Babel has come in and they showed enough in their last home game to say they could be a real threat."

Hughton feels Fulham have changed how they play under Ranieri. The Italian replaced Slavisa Jokanovic in November and Brighton's manager said: "The big difference is the style of play.

"Under the previous manager I think they were a far more expansive team, they grew that way over a couple of seasons and got promotion from the Championship.

"The present manager has a little bit more of a structure as regards keeping things tight. What they have got around all of that is quality players.

"For what can be a bad period or a bad moment, it can change and that's what they'll be hoping for. They're pushing as hard as they can and will continue to push as hard as they can."