We must beware of beleaguered Brighton, Nuno tells Wolves

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Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves side face Brighton this weekend (Anthony Devlin/PA).

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has warned his side to be wary of wounded Brighton at Molineux.

They host the Seagulls in the Premier League on Saturday with Chris Hughton’s side just two points above the relegation zone.

Brighton lost 2-0 at home to Cardiff on Tuesday after Bournemouth thumped them 5-0 at the Amex and they have suffered five straight defeats, including an FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City.

But Nuno is still wary of a Brighton side who have won taken just seven points in 2019.

“We are going to face a difficult team, they have their own ideas,” he said.

“All the games are the most important because it’s the next one we play. It’s the one everyone is focused on. It’s a tough challenge for both teams.

“The first game against them (a 1-0 defeat in October) was a tough match, but it was a long time ago.

“I have sympathy for all managers because we share the same job, I have sympathy for all the managers around the world – not just in the midlands – because it’s a tough job.”

The squad returned from Marbella on Thursday after spending the week there following the 3-1 defeat at Southampton.

They are eighth in the table, in the hunt for seventh spot which could still yield a Europa League qualifying spot.

Nuno believes their trip to Spain was a success as they prepare for the final five games of the season.

“It was good, we had a good week of training sessions and, at the same time, some social time together,” he said.

“It was nothing to do with tiredness, it was a decision we made a long time ago. It was all planned and it’s for the benefit of the squad.”

Nuno has no fresh injury worries and Ryan Bennett is pushing for a recall after being dropped to the bench.

Chris Hughton feels Brighton must call on their togetherness to survive in the Premier League.

Brighton’s slump in form has put their top-flight status in jeopardy, with the club having lost five consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time in 12 years.

Only relegated pair Fulham and Huddersfield have accrued fewer points than Brighton’s eight in 2019, and the gap to Cardiff in the final relegation place stands at two points ahead of Saturday’s game.

“We need to show the same qualities that got us to the Premier League in the first place and the same qualities that have kept us here,” said Brighton boss Hughton, whose side do have a game in hand over Cardiff.

“That’s our togetherness and battling qualities. We know there are some qualities we don’t have that the bigger teams do and the quality of player they can bring in.

“We have to make up for it in other ways. That’s what this team was built on, and that’s what we need to make sure we show plenty of.”

Brighton head to Molineux without a goal in five games and reeling from successive 5-0 and 2-0 home defeats to Bournemouth and Cardiff.

Hughton was shocked by his side’s collapse against Bournemouth, the fragile nature of the defending at odds with how Brighton have generally performed in the top flight over the past two seasons.

Asked whether Brighton had received a reality check in recent weeks, Hughton said: “I don’t know about that because it’s the game.

“The level of club we are, we are not going to go through a season without difficult times and without challenges.

“Expectations rise a little, bit but the reality is this is still only our second season (in the Premier League).

“For us, in every game, it is difficult and tough, that’s the level we are. We are very aware of what we are and what the challenges are.”

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