Chris Hughton hopes a moment of magic or a slice of luck can end Brighton’s lengthy goal drought as they scrap for Premier League survival.
Albion have been sucked into serious relegation danger after going six league games without finding the net.
The struggling Seagulls sit three points above 18th-placed Cardiff ahead of Saturday’s important home game against Newcastle.
With matches against Arsenal and title-chasing Manchester City to finish the season, Hughton is desperate for his team to rediscover their goalscoring touch.
“When you’re on a poor run of defeats, it’s about turning it around, and how do you turn it around? Well, the only way you can turn it around is by hard work,” said manager Hughton at his pre-match press conference.
“We have found it difficult to get the goals that we need to win games and certainly that wouldn’t be down to a lack of effort or a lack of offensive work on the training pitch.
“You go through these spells and that’s part of the job I do and every minute you play is an opportunity to change that.
“Sometimes that can change with a bit of brilliance, sometimes that can change through a little bit of fortune, but that’s why we work as hard as we do.”
Albion have picked up just a solitary point during their barren run in front of goal, which currently stands at 556 minutes.
The Seagulls, beaten 1-0 at Tottenham on Tuesday following last weekend’s goalless draw at Wolves, last found the net during the 2-1 win at rivals Crystal Palace on March 9.
Anthony Knockaert claimed the winner at Selhurst Park and he will be back to boost the Sussex club against Rafael Benitez’s Magpies, having completed a three-match ban following his reckless red card in the 5-0 thrashing by Bournemouth.
Hughton believes his squad have sufficient mental strength to halt their alarming run and avoid dropping into the Sky Bet Championship.
“Yes, I do,” he said.
“At this stage you need motivated players and over the last two games – albeit away from home, albeit tactically maybe a little bit different – I think we’ve had responses from the players.
“The feel and the mood I see around the changing room is one of determination.
“You can see that on the training pitch but what we have to do is put that into practice.”
Brighton will once again be without Dutch midfielder Davy Propper due to a hamstring injury.
- Press Association