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Hughton calls for togetherness as Brighton battle to avoid relegation

Chris Hughton feels Brighton must call on their togetherness to survive in the Premier League.

Brighton’s slump in form has put their top-flight status in jeopardy, with the club having lost five consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time in 12 years.

Only relegated pair Fulham and Huddersfield have accrued fewer points than Brighton’s eight in 2019, and the gap to Cardiff in the final relegation place stands at two points ahead of Saturday’s game at Wolves.

“We need to show the same qualities that got us to the Premier League in the first place and the same qualities that have kept us here,” said Brighton boss Hughton, whose side do have a game in hand over Cardiff.

“That’s our togetherness and battling qualities. We know there are some qualities we don’t have that the bigger teams do and the quality of player they can bring in.

“We have to make up for it in other ways. That’s what this team was built on, and that’s what we need to make sure we show plenty of.”

Brighton’s final five games include trips to top-four hopefuls Arsenal and Tottenham and a visit from champions Manchester City on the final day of the season.

The trip to Molineux and next weekend’s home game against Newcastle would appear to be Brighton’s best opportunities of picking up points.

But Hughton insists he does not see it that way, adding: “The pressure is in the next game because that’s the next best opportunity to get a result.

“We will never go into any of the big games against the big six feeling in any way we can’t get something.

“At the moment this game against Wolves is the most important one because it’s the next one.”

Brighton head to Molineux without a goal in five games and reeling from successive 5-0 and 2-0 home defeats to Bournemouth and Cardiff.

Hughton was shocked by his side’s collapse against Bournemouth, the fragile nature of the defending at odds with how Brighton have generally performed in the top flight over the past two seasons.

Asked whether Brighton had received a reality check in recent weeks, Hughton said: “I don’t know about that because it’s the game.

“The level of club we are, we are not going to go through a season without difficult times and without challenges.

“Expectations rise a little, bit but the reality is this is still only our second season (in the Premier League).

“For us, in every game, it is difficult and tough, that’s the level we are. We are very aware of what we are and what the challenges are.”