Boss Chris Hughton fears Brighton could face a wounded animal when Tottenham visit the Amex Stadium this weekend. Spurs’ late capitulation during the midweek Champions League trip to Inter Milan condemned them to a third successive defeat for the first time under manager Mauricio Pochettino.
They travel to the south coast for Saturday’s late kick-off, and Seagulls boss Hughton has urged his players to expect a response.
“I think as manager of the club that’s playing against them, I think my responsibility is to warn the team that these are a team that don’t lose many games and by their standards are having a more difficult time,” said Hughton.
“And that’s the time perhaps when they are at their most dangerous.
“They’ve got great, great quality; we know that we’ll have to play at a really good level to get something from the game.
“It’s also very, very normal that you have to make sure that our team are aware of all the qualities they’ve got and how they can hurt us if we’re not performing well enough.”
Tottenham appeared on course to start their European campaign with victory but, after spurning chances to make the game safe, they conceded twice during a shaky final six minutes at the San Siro.
That setback followed last week’s Premier League defeat at home to top-four rivals Liverpool and a surprise loss at Watford at the start of the month.
Hughton, who has seen his own side go four games without a win in all competitions, admits there is more pressure on Spurs.
“What I see at Tottenham at the moment are the normal things that happen in football and there are different levels,” said Hughton, a former Tottenham player and coach.
“The expectations of managing a team in the top six are different to anywhere else.
“Yes, they win more games than the rest of us but the expectations are higher.
“When any team in the top six goes through a period, whether that’s a couple of games or they lose a Champions League game, they are going to be in the spotlight a little more than we are here at Brighton.
“What generally happens, because of the quality they’ve got, they come out of that one and in a few weeks time it’s somebody else’s turn, so we never read too much into that.
“They have got top-quality players and on any given day they can turn it on.”