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Brighton are our visitors today which brings Chris Hughton back to Turf Moor and a manager who probably enjoys a legitimate, fair tackle more than the man who was in the away technical area last Wednesday.

Having won promotion in 2017, they are now in their second season in the Premier League and Hughton has spoken about the rising expectation brought about by their last two seasons. He said ahead of the trip to Lancashire: “There will always be expectation, but we have a realistic group of supporters, we know that expectations are higher this season than they were last year., but that’s normal and it wouldn’t be any different anywhere else. Burnley might be different because they had an incredible year last season, but for a team like ourselves expectations will rise. That’s part of the game and you have to live with it. If they go up it means you’re doing well.”

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He added: “For the likes of us it’s very hard to get into that top six and I don’t think in saying that that I would be different to any other manager in this division. I think most would see Everton as the next best chance of forcing their way into that group, and Leicester City for the last few years. Outside of that there are a big group of teams who can get results on their day, it’s about being consistent, last year it was Burnley.

“You never know who that will be because it fluctuates. For us at this moment it’s about maintaining our levels and not thinking about league position in terms of how high we are.”

Despite another defeat, our tenth in the Premier League this season, the performance against Liverpool was greeted positively and that is the sort of performance everyone is hoping for today.

“We need a team that gives everything and the team are showing clear signs of that,” Sean Dyche said. “We’ve shown a good mixture in the last two home games of performance, energy, belief from the players and from the crowd belief in the players. Now we have to turn that into results and that means adding in the tiny details that count. The mentality is relentless and that’s important.

“It’s certainly a big game, because, statistically, the away games at Tottenham and Arsenal are more difficult, but we can’t just work on our home form to get anything. We have to take care of our performance levels because over time that what gets us results.”

Dyche clearly has considerably more respect for Hughton than the whinging Klopp and added: “Brighton have done well. They have a solid format and I’ve a lot of time for Chris and his team and the way they have grown the club. They have spent well and developed players, which is healthy mixture and Chris has done a good job. They have some good players who are maturing into Premier League players, and they are willing to work for each other.

“The thing is, from our point of view, we have come across them down the years and beaten them, so we can remind ourselves of that, but in the here and now we’ve shown good performances in two of those last three games and if you keep doing that, the margins will come your way; I am absolutely sure of that.”

 

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