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Tottenham Hotspur-Brighton & Hove Albion Preview
It's been almost a decade since Tottenham Hotspur last dropped four matches over all competitions.
However, that's what Spurs will try to avoid from happening Saturday when they hit the road to face Brighton & Hove Albion in Premier League action.
Tottenham (3-0-2) owned an 8-2 scoring advantage whilst winning their first three Premier League matches. However, back-to-back 2-1 losses to Watford and Liverpool followed within the league. Things got more frustrating Tuesday when they allowed two goals after 86 minutes in a 2-1 Champions League loss to Inter Milan on the road.
Spurs, who last dropped four in a row overall from September 28-October 23, 2008, are hardly ready to panic, but also must realise they can't afford for their usual confidence to waiver at a time like this.
"We'll stay positive," manager Mauricio Pochettino told Tottenham's official website.
"We need to try to give out best, but first of all we have Brighton on Saturday."
If there is one concern, perhaps coming from Spurs' fanbase more than anywhere else, it's that the club will let their disappointment from that most recent defeat linger into a winnable match this weekend. The players, however, appear poised for that not to happen.
"We can't let it stay like this," midfielder Moussa Dembele said. "We need to turn this around, so for us … I understand that everybody is disappointed, but we need to turn it around because there's not too much time between games.
"OK, it's finished now, we have to keep our heads up because there were a lot of positives as well."
Spurs beat Brighton at home last season, but drew 1-1 on the road in the reverse fixture on April, so they understand this match does not guarantee a bounce back.
Brighton (1-2-2), who beat Manchester United at home last month, have played Fulham and Southampton to 2-2 draws in their last two league contests. In both games, the Seagulls had to rally from 2-0 deficits. Forward Glenn Murray scored three of the goals in those matches, including the equaliser off a penalty in the first minute of stoppage time against the Saints last weekend.
"I can say what I need to say and shout as much as I want, but you've got to have a group of players that realise it themselves," manager Chris Hughton spoke to Brighton's official website about his team's resiliency.
"There wasn't a player that came in at half-time (against Southampton) that didn't realise that the team underperformed. You can't do it in this division and get away with it."
The key, however, for Brighton, is to find a way to prevent another early hole from rearing its ugly head again. Spurs will be desperate for a result and the Seagulls know that, meaning the focus must be even sharper for this test.
"We'll work on what happened in the first half and ensure we put it right for Saturday afternoon," said Murray, who has scored four of Brighton's seven league goals this season.
Murray, however, has not recorded a goal in four all-time matches against Tottenham.
Updated September 20, 2018