Brighton have a point to prove against Cardiff – Chris Hughton
Chris Hughton believes Brighton’s players will be keen to “prove a point” against fellow strugglers Cardiff after making them watch footage of the humiliating 5-0 home loss to Bournemouth.
Albion’s squad was called in for a team meeting on Sunday following the embarrassment of the club’s biggest Premier League defeat.
Saturday’s thrashing has increased the Seagulls’ relegation fears going into Tuesday evening’s visit of Neil Warnock’s 18th-placed Bluebirds.
Cardiff could suck Brighton to within two points of the drop zone with victory at the Amex Stadium and Hughton does not expect his team to be short of motivation.
“I don’t think there will be any difficulty in lifting the players,” said the Albion boss.
“They’ll want to prove a point on Tuesday – they will want to show an attitude that says they were that disappointed with Saturday.
“We had a meeting yesterday, went through the game and the goals that we conceded.
“It was probably our worst performance of the season but this is football.
“There isn’t one player in that changing room that wouldn’t have gone through a bad defeat, a bad performance, and what it’s always about is how you respond to that.
“I expect very much a reaction from our players.”
Following the disappointment of their narrow FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City at Wembley, Brighton had a big opportunity to pull clear of the bottom three against the Cherries.
But a second-half collapse which saw them concede four times – compounded by a needless red card for Anthony Knockaert – inflicted a third successive league loss without scoring.
Hughton accepts the setback has put increased pressure on the Cardiff game.
“The fact we didn’t get the result we wanted on Saturday it becomes an even bigger game,” said the 60-year-old, who guided the club to safety with two games to spare last season.
“This is not unfamiliar territory, we are a battling club, we are a club that’s new to this division that are fighting with the qualities and rigours of this division.
“The good thing about our game is you always get an opportunity – and on this occasion it’s a very quick opportunity – to turn things around.”
Brighton will be unable to call on the services of winger Knockaert for the next three games after he was punished for a reckless lunge at Adam Smith.
Hughton says the Frenchman must learn to control his emotions on the pitch.
“I’ve spoken with Anthony. It’s very clear for everybody to see that it’s a bad challenge that deserved the red card,” said Hughton.
“It’s one that he realises hasn’t done us any favours.
“I think it’s a bit of frustration, emotion. What he can’t afford to do is let those frustrations and emotions take part of the game.”
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