Hughton on each win being Albion's 'biggest' yet, promotion battle still being 'close' and Dunk

Chris Hughton has said each Brighton & Hove Albion win becomes their 'biggest' yet as they close in on automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Friday, 7th April 2017, 11:38 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:41 am
Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake

Goals from Glenn Murray, his 21st of the season, and a sublime Seb Pocognoli free-kick gave Albion a 2-0 lead at QPR tonight.

Chris Smith set up a very nervy 15 minutes with his headed goal, but Albion just about held out for a 2-1 win to go two points clear at the top of the Championship and 12 ahead of third-placed Huddersfield.

Hughton also admitted he expects the promotion battle to be a close affair.

He said: "As each game goes by it seems like this is the biggest win and that will probably be the same next Friday with the Wolves game and the games after that.

"I think the manner of how we won as well when we were under a lot of pressure in the last 20 to 25 minutes - Matt Smith is a real handful up front and with Dunky off the pitch as well.

"But we managed to cope with it, we rode our luck a little bit, but I felt we had a bit ourselves to break away and increase that scoreline.

"I thought it was going to be a tight game and it would be some moments that would change that, we fortunately got the moments. I see next Friday being equally, equally as tough as this one.

"I think it will be close (the promotion race), we have teams below us that are all pushing, we need to win enough games to keep the gap as what we need to.

"We still have five very tough games and will need to be as good and as concentrated as we were this evening to get results in these other games."

Lewis Dunk was forced off through illness at half-time having pulling out of the warm-up, but braving on.

Hughton revealed he had trained fine on Thursday, but said: "It's real tough one as you have to have to rely on information from the player and sometimes when you get a tough lad like Dunky, he wants to play.

"He completed the warm-up didn't feel 100 per cent , but said he'd give it a go. He'd done great in the first half, but by half-time he couldn't continue, but Fikayo Tomori has come on and done great again."