Similar pattern needed to go up – Hughton

Brighton boss Chris Hughton. Picture: Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton boss Chris Hughton. Picture: Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

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Brighton boss Chris Hughton assessed Albion’s second place in the Championship at Christmas and said: “We’ll need a similar second half of the season to get where we want to be.”

Glenn Murray headed a injury-time winner at Birmingham City on Saturday as the Seagulls sealed a 2-1 victory to go eight points clear of third-placed Reading.

Despite sitting in such a strong position, Hughton knows there is a lot of work to do if they are to achieve promotion this season.

He said: “Going into the halfway stage, if you had said we’d be in this position, then obviously I’d have been delighted.

“Our ambition at the start of the season was to be able to challenge again but there are a lot of big teams in this division, so you never know what can happen.

“I’ve been delighted so far but we’re going to have to have a similar second half of the season to be where we want to be.”

Following back-to-back away matches, Brighton return to the Amex to end 2016.

First, they welcome Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday (12.30pm), before another home clash with Cardiff three days later (7.45pm).

Festive fixtures threw up a slight problem for Albion last year, with consecutive home defeats to Wolves and Ipswich Town, but Hughton is hopeful there is no repeat of that this year.

He added: “You know you are going to go through bad periods and have bad games, it’s just whether in that period you can still get a result.

“Birmingham wasn’t our best performance, but we found a result and that’s what it takes.

“We know those difficult periods will be coming, injuries will happen, so it’s just how we cope with that.

“It’s nice to have two home games over this period for the supporters, then a trip to Fulham, which isn’t too far.”

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