Brighton aiming for quick promotion
CHAMPIONSHIP: Brighton manager Chris Hughton has refused to look beyond today’s home game against relegation battlers Wigan as his side stand on the brink of promotion.
The Seagulls will effectively seal a return to English football’s top flight for the first time in 34 years if they secure a fifth straight league win due to their vastly superior goal difference over third-placed Huddersfield Town.
The south-coast club, losing play-off semi-finalists in three of the last four seasons, have never appeared in the Premier League after being relegated from the old First Division in 1983 and Hughton is determined to see the job through.
When asked if he could touch promotion, Hughton, who won the Championship title with Newcastle in 2010, said: “We all can.
“My response is to be as calm as possible and that no one is starting to look at games ahead and at targets when we haven’t reached any yet.
“We would like to do it as quickly as possible. Until that happens you have to keep people as level-headed as possible. The focus has to be on Monday.”
Huddersfield’s televised game at Derby is a 5pm kick-off and Hughton said he was not sure if he will be watching.
“(I have) no plans at this moment,” he added. “It’s a big Monday. Irrespective of any result, mathematically we haven’t achieved it.
“Until we achieve what we want we have to focus on what the game is. It’ll be very much about our own game.”
Second-bottom Wigan kept their survival hopes alive by fighting back from two goals down against Barnsley on Friday to seal back-to-back wins and have it all to play for still.