Hughton sets 40 points as the benchmark again

Chris Hughton. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
Chris Hughton. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst

Brighton manager Chris Hughton feels 40 points is the benchmark to reach again this season.

The Seagulls reached that total in their debut Premier League last year as they finished 15th in the top flight.

The average number of points needed to stay in the English top tier since the 1995/96 season - when the league was reduced to 20 teams - has been 37 but Hughton feels it is better to aim higher, with 40 points again the first target he is looking to reach.

Asked at his pre-match Watford press conference yesterday if 40 points is the benchmark for clubs, he said: "I think so. Maybe what might happen at some stage in the future, in two three or four years' time, is clubs might be looking at 38 points and that that being the benchmark.

"But I think it's still healthy to aim higher than it is thinking lower.

"My responsibility to this football club is come the following season we are playing Premier League football.

"We have to get enough out of the team to have a decent season and that can mean finishing where we did last season or slightly higher."