Going into the final months of the season, Brighton & Hove Albion find themselves in a desperate battle to retain their Premier League status. All around them, clubs are picking up points and dragging the Seagulls into trouble, a far cry from five weeks ago when the south coast club looked anything but in danger.
Without a league win in 2019, Chris Hughton must attempt to change his side’s luck, and quickly, before they find themselves running out of games. Although they aren’t being beaten out of sight, this month certainly looks like it will have a huge bearing on where Brighton are going to finish. Games against fellow strugglers Southampton and Huddersfield, coupled with a visit to arch rivals Crystal Palace will give a fair indication as to whether they enter April with their fate still in their own hands.
That’s not to say they will be down and out in thirty days time, but losing all three games will heap more pressure on Hughton, and extend their winless run. In the middle of those games is an FA Cup Quarter Final which can either be seen as a distraction from their poor league form or the root cause of their troubles. Clubs that aren’t blessed with huge squads struggle to balance a cup run with league form and the same can be said of the Seagulls.
The Cup wins certainly haven’t inspired the team to pick up Premier League points and it remains to be seen what effect a cup win or a cup exit will have on the club. If they do manage to make it to the final, they wouldn’t be the first club to be relegated in the same season, indeed it has already happened to the Albion in the past, and with the transfer window firmly shut, Hughton will have to pull every ounce from his squad to ensure the top club in Sussex enjoy another Premier League season.