Hughton: It's in our hands and we have to go for the win

Albion boss Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion boss Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Albion boss Chris Hughton expects Newcastle to beat Barnsley on Sunday, so says his side have to win at Aston Villa to be crowned champions.

The Seagulls will lift the Championship title if they win at Villa Park, or better Newcastle's result.

Albion have suffered back-to-back defeats since sealing promotion and looking ahead to Sunday's matches, Hughton said: “The best way to look at it, is to expect a Newcastle win on Sunday. With that being the case, it means we’ll have to go to Villa and win.

“It’s in our own hands and we’ve generally been good bouncing back from defeat this season. It’s unusual for us to have two defeats on the spin, and what we wouldn’t want, particularly at this stage of the season, is that to be three defeats on the spin.

“It’s a game that we’ll very much look to win, but we’re very conscious that they’re a good side. I know they’re on the back of a defeat at Blackburn, but they’ll want to bounce back from that one.

“We have to go for the win. In my opinion, and it’s certainly no disrespect towards Barnsley, I expect Newcastle to win. They’re at home and it’s their last game, but it’s never easy in this division and we found that out against a good Bristol City team in our last home game.

“It’s also been shown that Newcastle have been very good away from home but had some difficult results at home. But we have to look at it this way; Newcastle will win their game and we’ll have to get a win to clinch the title.”

Hughton is also keen for Brighton not to go up into the Premier League on the back of three successive defeats. He said: "It's important because of the challenges. Irrespective of the fact it's right at the end of the season and this probably sounds a little bit strange but we want to go into the start of next season at least on the back of either a really good performance or a really good result come that last game.

"We're on the back of back-to-back defeats which is very unusual for us this season, it's only happened one other time with league games.

"It's important for us and I think it's important for the feel of the group as well to really give ourselves a chance of winning it."

The Albion bench will be keeping tabs on the Newcastle game at Villa Park and Hughton said: "Yes we will and that's only natural. I don't think it will change too much. Our mentality is you have to go and win the game but it's only professional we do keep tabs.

"I don't think it will affect it too much because we all know what can happen, last minute goals can affect any change you might have on our own game. It will be very much treating the game as it is and it's one we want to win."

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