Hughton confident of Brighton title win

Date published: Monday 1st May 2017 11:42

Brighton boss Chris Hughton 2

Brighton boss Chris Hughton promised his men would be going flat out to win the Championship title in their final game of the season at Aston Villa.

After two successive defeats for Brighton it now means the Championship race will right down to the wire.

The Seagulls, who were beaten 2-0 at Norwich last Friday, remain top of the table but just one point ahead of rivals Newcastle and would have sealed their fourth title in 16 years with victory at home to Bristol City.

But Josh Brownhill’s first goal for City just before the interval proved enough and guaranteed the visitors’ survival, whilst also meaning that the title would be decided on the last day when Newcastle host Barnsley.

Hughton said: “It was a wonderful achievement to get promoted with three games to go, but we want to finish top. We have to be confident.”

When asked whether he felt the occasion got to his players, Hughton replied: “I don’t know. The preparation was good and it was a really good opportunity to win.

“We had a lot of the ball but Bristol City defended very well, particularly their two centre-halves.

“We didn’t have that bit of quality as we have in other games; we lacked that edge.

“Bristol City had not lost in four games and you have to give them credit.

“The Villa game will be as tough as the Norwich one was. But we have been better away from home than last season and if we play to our levels we have a chance.”

City head coach Lee Johnson praised his team for producing the goods when the pressure was really on as they ensured survival with one game remaining.

He said: “It was all about the energy of the team. We made it very difficult for Brighton to get through us.

“I said openly in the build-up that we are the bridesmaids trying to upstage the bride.”

City have produced four wins in their last five games and Johnson believes their strong finish augurs well for next season.

He added: “We have got the wins when the pressure is really on. This was up there as one of our best performances of the season.

“We have got more points than last season, have scored more, have a better goal difference and have a chance of finishing higher.

“We have good young players coming through and the future of the club is bright. We have to keep improving.

“We are trying to emulate a club like Brighton. They are the best side in division and can certainly win the title.”

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