We want to keep things in our own hands - Hughton

Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Chris Hughton wants Brighton to keep their Premier League fate in their own hands and not have to rely on results elsewhere.

Albion are seven points clear of third-from-bottom Southampton with five games to play but have a tough finish to the season.

The Seagulls host Tottenham tonight before matches with Burnley, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool. Hughton said: "The run-in is challenging but that is something we knew. What we have to have is a group of players that look forward to the challenge.

"We want it to be in our own hands, that's always the best way. Going into this group of games, we will need to get some points. What we don't want to be doing is continually looking over our shoulder and relying on other results to go our way.

"It's always best if it's in your own hands. They are tough games but we've also looked at some of the results we've seen, West Brom on Sunday, our result at home against Arsenal, so you can't afford to go in to any game whether it be against any of the top six or any game with a defeatist attitude.

"We need to make sure we have a team and a group of players that will look forward to playing in every game."

Hughton does not feel his side are feeling the pressure of battling to stay in the Premier League and said: "My feeling is they're not.

"This is territory that most of them wouldn't have been in before. They would have been in this situation but in another league the season before when we almost went up automatically and last season where there was a little bit more pressure.

"They would have been in situations that need calmer heads and for them to be focusing but my feeling is they've been fine.

"But the pressures of this stage of the season are things they have to be able to cope with. They would certainly rather be in these circumstances than worse circumstances."

Hughton added the squad have quickly put Saturday's defeat to Crystal Palace behind them and said: "One thing I'd have to say which has been really good all season is the feel amongst the players.

"Straight after the game, it's quite obvious the players are down a bit because of the first half performance but also because we got very close and had some good chances to get a result. That's normal.

"But generally the feel around here has been good and upbeat. It's the feeling of a group of players that know things are going to go against us at times and we're not always going to get the results we want.

"The best way to cope with that is to look to bounce back in the next game."