At the seaside and a very important need for three points

The seaside is always a nice day out. I just hope our players don't look at the trip to Brighton today as that. This is a work day and we need to leave Brighton with more than we arrived. And I don't care how we win today.

By that I mean, we need to win and if we do, we will leave the bottom three. Not winning and it's going to feel like we're in the bottom three for the rest of the season.

And winning means we would be equal on points with Brighton and that would be a good place to be. But for sure, it's not going to be easy. I mean, who plays up front?

I don't think that is going to be as crucial as some might think though. And by that I mean, the most important thing should be about getting the ball into the box. If we are doing that and we've got players attacking that ball, we're going to give ourselves a chance.

Our problem this season though is getting the ball into the box quickly enough. It's going to be interesting. So hat and gloves on boys. Don't forget to pick up some rock. But it's three points that you have to leave the seaside with.

Back later with team news. No video below, because the Club are trying to create their own YouTube and the one minute preview isn't good enough. But we all know what the manager is going to say.

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Match facts from the BBC


  • Brighton have gone nine league and cup games without beating Aston Villa since a 1-0 top-flight home win in December 1980 (D3, L6).
  • Villa have already beaten Brighton twice this season: 3-1 in the League Cup at the Amex Stadium and 2-1 at Villa Park in the Premier League.
  • This is their first top-flight meeting on the south coast since a goalless draw at the Goldstone Ground in March 1983.

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • Albion's only victory in seven league matches came against Bournemouth last month (D3, L3).
  • Their tally of 24 points after 22 fixtures is two fewer than at this stage last season under Chris Hughton.
  • Brighton have never won a Premier League match in January, drawing four and losing six.
  • The Seagulls have lost five of their past seven Premier League fixtures against promoted opposition, winning once.
  • Their only defeat this season against teams currently below them in the table came at Villa in October (W3, D2).
  • Neal Maupay, Brighton's top scorer in the Premier League this season with seven goals, has gone five appearances in the division without scoring.

Aston Villa

  • Dean Smith's side have lost six of their past eight league matches, conceding 21 goals.
  • However, they are vying to earn successive Premier League away wins for the first time since September 2014.
  • All but one of the 21 points earned by Villa have come against sides currently in the bottom half of the table.
  • Aston Villa have faced 18.5 shots per game on average in the Premier League this season, the most in a campaign since Reading's 18.6 in 2012-13.
  • They have gone 18 Premier League away fixtures without a clean sheet since a 0-0 draw at West Brom on 23 January 2016.
  • Jack Grealish has scored in three successive games against Brighton in all competitions.