Hughton hopes fear factor will continue to spur Brighton on

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

Chris Hughton hopes the fear of being caught by sides below them will motivate his Brighton players to get the points they need to stay in the Premier League.

The Seagulls are tenth in the top flight, seven points clear of the bottom three and Hughton admits the challenge all season has been to stay out of the relegation places.

With nine games to go, Albion's boss knows more points are still needed to ensure the Seagulls are in the Premier League next season and said: "You have to be guarded always and I don't think this team will want to stop thinking that because it's a difficult division.

"We have some very tough games coming up, so I don't mind if we have a team that continue to have a fear of the teams below them. If that's motivation enough for us to get the points we need, then I'm very happy with that.

"We've managed to be in a lot of games and thankfully what we were able to do on Sunday was beat a team in the top six, which we hadn't done all season.

"That was one which we knew we would have to do as we go into the last nine games having to play four or the top teams. We know we have a very tough run-in.

"Ultimately it's all about making sure we stay in this division. A big part of that is making sure you stay out of the bottom three.

"Apart from possibly the first week of the season, we haven't been in the bottom three. If anything, that has been our challenge all season - to make sure we don't drop into the bottom three, just from a confidence point of view."

Keep up with all the top football news and transfer gossip from England, Scotland and beyond with footballwire.co.uk