(Reuters) – Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes his players have a point to prove against relegation rivals Cardiff City on Tuesday after suffering their heaviest Premier League home defeat by Bournemouth at the weekend.
Cardiff, who currently occupy the final relegation spot in 18th place, could pull Brighton within two points of the drop zone with a victory at the Amex Stadium.
Hughton described Saturday’s 5-0 home defeat by Bournemouth as his side’s “worst overall performance” of the season but maintained they will not be short of motivation.
“There won’t be any difficulty in lifting the players,” Hughton told a news conference on Monday. “They’ll want to prove a point on Tuesday, they’ll want to show an attitude that they were disappointed with Saturday.
“There won’t be one player who hasn’t been through a difficult period on the back of a bad defeat.
“It’s always about how you respond. You respond because you’re a professional and because you don’t have a choice – this is the game, the ups and downs of the game. I expect very much a reaction from our players.”
Hughton will be without French winger Anthony Knockaert for the next three games after he was shown a straight red card for a nasty lunge on Bournemouth’s Adam Smith.
“It’s very clear for everybody to see that it’s a bad challenge that deserved the red card,” Hughton added. “It’s one that he realises hasn’t done us any favours.
“I think it’s a bit of frustration, emotion. What he can’t afford to do is let those frustrations and emotions be a part of his game.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)