Brighton not feeling the pressure of a possible relegation battle according to Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton cannot feel his side being burdened by the pressure of a potential Premier League relegation scrap after their 3-0 loss to Chelsea yesterday evening.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 1:14 am
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 8:42 am
Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography.

Goals from Olivier Giroud, Eden Hazard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek secured a routine win for the Blues and drag the Seagulls back into the relegation picture.

Albion sit 15th in the table on 33 points, level with Southampton and Burnley with a superior goal difference, but are just five points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff City.

Brighton do have a game in hand on the Bluebirds, and will face Neil Warnock's side on Tuesday April 16, but a poor run of results has seen Hughton's team start to look precariously over their shoulder.

The Seagulls boss said: "We missed a massive opportunity on Saturday (in their 1-0 home defeat to Southampton) to go clear. But all the while it's there, the pressure has to be there.

"You want it because you need players to give enough to get good results and make sure we stay clear of it.

"But amongst the group we've got I don't feel the pressure. We've worked hard in training and sometimes you can feel the mood in the camp but I haven't felt that.

"Whether that is knowing there is a cup tie ahead of us I don't know.

"You want it to hurt. There is disappointment in the changing room because the general feeling is that on the defensive side we found it very difficult.

"In regards to the next game, we will put this one behind us as we've got another massive challenge on Saturday."

Albion will make their first trip to Wembley in 36 years as they take on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola's side are currently on course for an unprecedented quadruple. They have already picked up the Carabao Cup, advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and sit top-of-the-table after a 2-0 home win over Cardiff City last night.

With City in insatiable form, Hughton said he will have to pick a Brighton team 'that can do the club justice'.

He added: "At this moment, I haven't picked my team. We have a very difficult game before us and we're coming up against a lot of what we came up against tonight (against Chelsea).

"It will have to be a team that can do the club justice and give us the best opportunity to get something.

"We know how slim those chances are but, for any chances we do have, it's got to be a team that gives us the best chance."

Hughton, however, may be sweating on the fitness of Solly March after the midfielder limped off the field on 31 minutes.

The Seagulls boss revealed that March was replaced as a precaution, with Saturday's tie in the FA Cup's final-four looming overhead.

He said: "We will find out tomorrow (Thursday). He said he felt his calf just tighten a little bit.

"We're hoping that he came off at the right time. He certainly hasn't pulled it so we're hoping he'll be OK."