Hughton: We didn't expect an easy ride

Brighton celebrate a goal against Stoke and Seagulls boss Chris Hughton says morale is still high in his squad. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Brighton celebrate a goal against Stoke and Seagulls boss Chris Hughton says morale is still high in his squad. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Brighton manager Chris Hughton admits his side did not expect an easy ride in the Premier League this season but says morale is still high.

Albion have failed to win any of their last seven Premier League games but are still 13th in the table with 18 points from 18 games.

The Seagulls will look to return to winning ways when they host Watford at the Amex tomorrow afternoon. Asked if his side were feeling the pressure, Hughton said: "The only way you can assess it is by performance and how they are during the week as you spend more time with them during the week than on a match day.

"In the first half performance against Burnley, there were signs we were heading back to perhaps where we were a few games ago.

"What I haven't noticed during any of these weeks is a despondent or low changing room, the reason why is because this is our first season in the Premier League.

"I don't think there's any player in this changing room that felt we were going to get an easy ride or that we'd be able to sustain the good period right through the season.

"Any difficult period is expected for a team like ours. Most of the squad hadn't played in the Premier League, so every game for them is still a big game and a big challenge, hence why morale has still been very good."

Albion play a Watford side who have collected just one point from their past five games and they have key players Troy Deeney, Marvin Zeegelaar and Abdoulaye Doucoure all suspended.

But Hughton said: "There are two ways you can look at.

"They are a team by their standards that are not going through the best period. You can say it's a good time to play them or that it's going to turn for them at some stage and they will be very motivated to turn it around.

"Sometimes away from home, you dont have the pressures of playing at home so you can express yourself.

"We will have to be guarded against that but it's another opportunity for us at home. Every time we don't win a game there is more pressure in the next one."