Nightmarish Brighton braces for massive Tuesday clash

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Brighton and Hove Albion finished Week 15 in the Premier League’s 10th place, 12 points clear of 18th place Saints, holders of a 5W-1D-2L run of league form and hoping for even better.

Since then? 17 matches, 12 more points, and the 17th spot on the table.

[ RECAP: Brighton 0-5 Bournemouth ]

Chris Hughton‘s men are now the last hope for Cardiff City, who visits Brighton five points back of the Seagulls and desperate for a shot at safety.

“The pressure’s on now,” said Dale Stephens. “We’ve got to stand up and be counted on Tuesday.”

[ MORE: Relegation picture clear ]

Brighton will host Cardiff City on Tuesday and must get a result from a must-win win for the Bluebirds.

Hughton is flummoxed at what happened to his team in an abject, 10-man display against Bournemouth which saw the Seagulls lose by five and lose Anthony Knockaert for Tuesday.

“It was a reckless challenge,” Hughton said. “It was the right decision. I’ve spoken to the team and I think it was one of the poorest performances since I’ve been here. Especially knowing the qualities of the team we were playing against.”

After Cardiff’s visit, Brighton tangles with Wolves at the Molineux before visiting Tottenham, hosting Newcastle, traveling to Arsenal and hosting Man City on the final day of the season.

Their quality coupled with Cardiff City’s defensive struggles should be enough to survive the battle, but Hughton and some of his men may not get out of the war with their jobs in tact.