Brighton boss Chris Hughton had nothing but praise for Saints in his pre-match press conference, describing Sunday’s visitors to the Amex Stadium as “a great example” to other sides in the Premier League.
The Seagulls sit just one point behind Mauricio Pellegrino’s men going into this weekend’s meeting between the top-flight’s two south-coast representatives and Hughton has warned his team that they will need to at their very best to defeat a wonderfully gifted Southampton.
“We will need to be strong at both ends,” Hughton said. “Saints are a very good side; they are expansive and play the game with a distinct style. I don’t expect them to deviate from that on Sunday.
Chris Hughtonthey are a wonderfully gifted team and a fine example to other premier league teams.
But it is not just on the field that Hughton has been impressed with the St Mary’s club in recent seasons.
“With the progress they have made, they set a great example for other sides in the Premier League. They have the right balance between bringing young players through and remaining consistently in the top 10.
“I don’t think many clubs have been better managed than Saints in that respect over the past few years."
As a result, the 58-year-old has called on his charges to deliver a repeat of the performance that saw them put three goals past West Ham at the London Stadium last time out.
“It’s my responsibility to make sure that we are level-headed going into every game,” he concluded. "If our level of performance is as it was at West Ham, we have a great chance of winning on Sunday.”