Hughton urges his players to have no fear

Albion boss Chris Hughton pictured with Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion boss Chris Hughton pictured with Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Chris Hughton wants his Brighton players to go into the Premier League with no fear.

The Seagulls host Manchester City in their first top-flight match for 34 years this afternoon and Hughton is urging his players to be ready for the tough challenge that lies ahead.

The Manchester giants are one of the title favourites and have spent £156m this summer, while Hughton guided Brighton to promotion from the Championship last season.

Asked what his message will be to his players this season, Hughton said: "Have no fear. Play with intelligence as you are going to be playing against teams that are better than us.

"There are going to be tough days, particularly away from home, but go into the season with confidence, no fear and be very much ready for the challenges ahead.

"Fortunately for us, there isn't any player in our team or squad that doesn't know the Premier League or the Premier League players and their qualities.

"It's not like we're going into the unknown but it will be a tough challenge this season. They need to make sure they're up for it and ready for it."

Brighton have been made one of the favourites with bookies for an immediate return to the Championship and Hughton admits that is something which he'll use to motivate his team: "What you have to do is use every opportunity you can to motivate the players.

"There won't be too many betting shops throughout the country that would put us outside the bottom three. It's normal where it's our first season in the Premier League and it's another brilliant challenge for us."

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