Hughton wary of tough FA Cup test

Brighton boss Chris Hughton. Picture: Paul Hazlewood

Brighton boss Chris Hughton. Picture: Paul Hazlewood

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Brighton boss Chris Hughton insists his side will have to be at their best if they are to progress in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Albion welcome division-lower Milton Keynes Dons to the Amex for a third-round encounter.

Hughton’s side are flying in the Championship at present, with a 2-1 win at Fulham last time out extending their unbeaten run to 18 matches and opening up a two-point lead at the summit with a game in hand.

Albion’s boss is expected to ring the changes for the visit of MK Dons, but still has ambitions of going far in the competition.

He said: “As soon as the draw was made the obvious one is you want a home tie against a team that is not in your division.

“They (MK Dons) are a good side, they are a team that are used to being in the Championship, with players used to playing at our level. Of course, playing up against a team one league higher than they are will see a rise in the level of performance from them, I don’t expect anything different than a tough game.”

With several squad players likely to get a chance, Hughton sees this as an opportunity for them to stake a claim and continue to get game time.

He added: “It’s quite difficult to speak of the values and feeling of the FA Cup perhaps when people may feel you are making as lot of changes.

“It’s just the way the game is these days, particularly for us where we have got a very competitive squad, there’s no doubt the focus is the league as with many other clubs.

“Having said that, it is a competition we do want to go through in because of the history and nature of this FA Cup.

“We desperately want to go through, I have made changes and a lot but at this moment with the squad I’m hopeful of a result. It’s also a chance at more games for the squad to be used.”

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