Hughton feels underdog tag could suit Brighton

Albion boss Chris Hughton. Photograph: Paul Hazlewood

Albion boss Chris Hughton. Photograph: Paul Hazlewood

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Brighton boss Chris Hughton believes his side’s underdog label heading into Saturday’s Championship promotion shoot-out could benefit them.

James Wilson netted in second half stoppage-time on Monday as they salvaged a 1-1 draw against Derby at The Amex.

That point means Brighton now need a win to leapfrog Boro and secure automatic promotion.

Heading into the crunch clash, home advantage and only needing a point to clinch promotion has seen Middlesbrough installed as favourites but Hughton believes that could work in his side’s favour.

He said: “I think the pressure on both sets of players will be the same. I would like to think that every player has the same desire to want to do well. There is no doubt also that they are favourites and that the expectation on their club would be greater than ours and I don’t think I’d be speaking out of turn saying that.

“I would like the pressure on our players to be the same, it’s a healthy pressure and one that you want to look forward to.

Should Albion seal promotion on Saturday, it would be the second time Hughton has managed this as boss.

He won the league with Newcastle in 2010 but Albion’s manager thinks this would rank higher. Hughton said: “This one would be greater than what I achieved at Newcastle, I think. I took a Newcastle side that was perhaps the other way around, we would have been favourites at the start of the season and it would have been a different way of doing it, so I think this would be greater.”

Lewis Dunk will be missing for the clash after he was sent-off during Monday’s home encounter with Derby.

Hughton knows he will be a massive miss but believes there will be no better replacement than skipper Gordon Greer.

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