By Art de Roché
Last Updated: 11/04/19 5:20pm
Chris Hughton has admitted that Brighton’s next two Premier League games are more important than their FA Cup semi-final.
Returning to league action against Bournemouth this weekend, the Seagulls are 16th, five points above the relegation zone.
It will be a crucial four days for Brighton – they host 18th-placed Cardiff on Tuesday – and Hughton is desperate to boost their hopes of survival after being knocked out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Wembley.
“The next two games are more important than the FA Cup semi-final and of course the biggest game is against Bournemouth on Saturday,” he said.
“We were delighted to put in the performance that we did in the semi-final but that’s gone.”
Hughton was encouraged with his side’s display, limiting Pep Guardiola’s City to just one goal early on.
“To run a top class team like City with the quality and options they have speaks volumes for the players,” added Hughton whose team last won in the Premier League on March 9 against Crystal Palace and have lost three of their last four games.
“Of course, there’s a disappointment of not going through to the final but the positive we took out of the game was our performance that we hope we can take into this final group of Premier League matches.
“That’s the aim and the group have felt good and want to put another good performance in.
“I don’t know how many wins we need to stay up but you don’t want to go into any game thinking you’re nearly there and take your foot of the pedal.”
Hughton also spoke on the versatility of summer-signing Bernardo who featured further forward than usual in the club’s last Premier League outing against Chelsea.
Normally a left back, Bernardo played as a left winger but the Brighton boss doesn’t see him stopping there.
“He is definitely able to play more positions,” he said.
“We brought him in as a left-back but at his previous club he did play at right-back quite a lot.
“I do feel there’s flexibility in where he can play whether it be a midfield role or higher and wider on that left-hand side.”