Hughton says Albion are not safe yet, targets 40 points and explains penalty-taker switch

Chris Hughton and Maurico Pochettino embrace on the touchline pre-match. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Chris Hughton and Maurico Pochettino embrace on the touchline pre-match. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Chris Hughton has said Brighton & Hove Albion are safe from the relegation battle just yet and has the 40 point mark in his mind to keep his side in the Premier League.

A second half Pascal Gross penalty helped the Seagulls to a precious point against Tottenham Hotspur at the Amex this evening.

The German replaced Murray on spot-kick duties after the striker had missed his last effort in a 2-0 home defeat against Leciester City at the end of March.

And he put away the chance from 12 yards just two minutes after Harry Kane had fired a much-changed Spurs side ahead in the 47th minutes.

An accomplished defensive performance from the hosts followed to ensure they collected their 36th point of the season and moved eight clear of the bottom three.

But Albion boss Hughton does not believe they are over the line yet, he said: "No, only because I can't afford to think that way. Probably the most important thing on mind now is making sure we try and put in the same type of effort and performance in these last four games.

"The only thing I can always say is 40 points. That is the one ingrained in us manager's minds, you can't afford to think any different."

On why he opted for Gross to switch to penalties duties, Hughton added: "It's not any slight on Glenn he has had six penalties this season, scored four and missed two. Pascal is someone that is used to taking penalties as well. It's a close thing.

"Pascal is used to taking them and I felt that changed might do us a favour."

And the Albion boss felt a draw was a fair return from the evening. The ex-Tottenham player and manager added: "Overall, with the quality they (Spurs) have our biggest concern was not to lose the game. When they go 1-0 up, at that stage most people probably expected Tottenham to go on and get a second and third.

"The response was quick and that helped the confidence in the team. We were well wrothy of the draw we got and personally, I think it's a fair result.

"The performance will go some way to giving the team confidence in these last four games."