Hughton: Confidence in the squad is growing

Tomer Hemed scored twice at MK Dons. By Angela Brinkhurst
Tomer Hemed scored twice at MK Dons. By Angela Brinkhurst
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Albion boss Chris Hughton admitted confidence in the squad is growing after a sixth win in eight games last night.

Brighton thrashed Leeds 4-0 at the Amex, after winning by the same scoreline at Bristol City in their previous match, to move to within two points of leaders Burnley.

Anthony Knockaert and Sam Baldock celebrate Brighton's second. By Angela Brinkhurst

Anthony Knockaert and Sam Baldock celebrate Brighton's second. By Angela Brinkhurst

Hughton said: “We have a good mix of young players in the team. A lot of the others are used to playing in big games and that helps.

“We’ve been in the top six all season and there is confidence in the team and squad, there’s no doubt about that.

“But it’s such a tough division and other teams are capable of going on a very good run.

“Before the season we wanted to challenge for the top six and our ambition is to make sure we stay there, we are pushing as hard as we can.”

Lewis Dunk heads home Albion's fourth. By Angela Brinkhurst

Lewis Dunk heads home Albion's fourth. By Angela Brinkhurst

Hughton added: “There was a little bit of relief when our first goal went in. I knew we’d have opportunities. The margins are going our way. We now have two clean sheets but we’re not necessarily playing better.

“We can’t get too carried away. We’ve won our last two games 4-0 but before that we lost 4-1 at Cardiff, so you always have to be guarded.”

Leeds have now won only one of their last 11 league games and head coach Steve Evans joined the team bus afterwards, having been told by owner Massimo Cellino to skip the press conference.

Cellino made an early departure from the stadium after a dismal opening 45 minutes and it was up to Evans’s assistant Paul Raynor to carry out the club’s post-match television obligation.

He told Sky Sports: “The first-half performance was shambolic. Our defending was atrocious and the manager is going to dissect it with the players.

“We only had 15 minutes at half-time to try and put a shape together and to show a bit of pride and commitment and heart out there and I felt we did that in the second half.

“But the first half was absolutely shambolic and it simply was not good enough.”

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