Chris Hughton believes Brighton and Hove Albion’s team spirit will be enough to ensure they avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Brighton could have moved eight points clear of the drop zone on Tuesday, but instead are now just two above Cardiff City, who won 2-0 at the Amex Stadium and occupy the final relegation place.
The Seagulls do still have a game in hand compared to Cardiff, although their run-in includes trips to Tottenham and Arsenal, while Manchester City visit the south coast on the final day.
However, Hughton is confident that his side – who have lost four successive league games without scoring – have the quality to beat the drop.
“It’s still very much in our own hands and that’s the way we have to look at it,” he told Brighton’s official website.
“We’ve always had a battle on our hands, we’re a young team in this division and there’s going to be highs and lows.
“At this moment it’s a low, particularly because of the last two defeats at home, but we have no choice but to get on with it, roll our sleeves up and show the quality that we’ve got.
“We need to get back to what we do best and look to get results in this series of games.
“We need to make sure we show the quality that we know we have, the fighting spirit that we know we have and the togetherness we have, and take that into these final games.
“It’s about making sure we’re in this division next season, and we need to and will do everything that we can to make sure that happens.”
5 – Brighton & Hove Albion are the first top-flight team to lose five consecutive matches without scoring in all competitions since Aston Villa in October 2014. Troubled. pic.twitter.com/JtwbmpRERQ
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 16, 2019
Brighton were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty early on, when Bruno Ecuele Manga dragged down Lewis Dunk, but Cardiff made their luck count – Nathaniel Mendez-Laing curling home before Sean Morrison made sure of the points in the second half.
And Neil Warnock insisted his side were wholly worthy of a victory that could be crucial in their bid to avoid relegation.
“We had a few pundits say it would be our final game in the Premier League but we are alive and kicking,” Warnock told BBC Sport. “We deserved tonight. In the final third, if we had been more clinical we could have created more.
“I can’t say anything better about the players. They have been great for me. We came out of the traps and enjoyed it today. We are far from finished yet.”
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