FA Cup: Brighton boss Chris Hughton wary of Arsenal test

Chris Hughton
Hughton has won three of his four matches since taking charge of Brighton on 31 December
FA Cup fourth round: Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal
Amex Stadium Date: Sunday, 25 January Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Coverage: Watch highlights on Match of the Day; listen via BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Sussex, BBC London 94.9 or online; text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton is wary of facing Arsenal in the FA Cup, but insists his players need no extra encouragement for the fourth-round tie.

The Seagulls welcome the holders to the Amex Stadium on Sunday, the fifth cup meeting between the clubs.

"I certainly won't need to motivate the squad," Hughton told BBC Sussex.

"But you still have to have a gameplan that gives you a chance. There probably isn't anybody who doesn't know the magnitude of the job."

He continued: "Irrespective of what team they play, you know it will be a big task. They are an extremely good side with quality players.

"But it is our responsibility to try and do the best we can and nullify periods of their play when they can really hurt us."

Brighton go into the tie after four wins in five matches, three of them since Hughton was appointed manager on 31 December.

The Seagulls struggled in the Championship under predecessor Sami Hyypia, but have climbed to 19th in the table following the Finn's departure.

Brighton eyeing place in fifth round once more
Brighton & Hove Albion have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup in three of the past four seasons
The Seagulls missed out on a place in the last 16 in 2012-13, when they were beaten by Arsenal at the fourth-round stage

Arsenal are currently fifth in the Premier League and even though boss Arsene Wenger is expected to make changes to the side which won at Manchester City last weekend, Hughton does not believe it will make his side's task any easier.

"In the last few seasons if they have made changes for any of the cup competitions, they fielded good young players and the age of the team would have gone down dramatically," the 56-year-old former Norwich manager said.

"Now, any changes that they make are significantly more experienced players. That shows the quality and depth of their squad."

Sunday's game is a rematch of the fourth-round meeting at the Amex in January 2013, which Arsenal won 3-2, thanks to Theo Walcott's late winner.

Eight of Brighton's starting XI on that occasion are no longer with the Sussex club, with five of those players now playing in the Premier League.

Theo Walcott scores Arsenal's winning goal as the Gunners beat Brighton 3-2 in January 2013
Brighton hosted Arsenal at the fourth round stage of the FA Cup in January 2013, with Theo Walcott's late goal securing a 3-2 win for the Gunners

"The Cup is about playing these kind of games and they are the ones you remember," said Albion right-back Inigo Calderon, one of the survivors from the last meeting.

"You feel something special when you play against these teams.

"I was watching the highlights [of 2013] with my son and we were so close to getting a draw at least. We were already thinking of the Emirates.

"The fans are crazy about this game. It will be a great atmosphere."

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