Brighton boss Chris Hughton has dismissed suggestions it is a good time to face out-of-form Bournemouth.
Eddie Howe’s side have lost six of their last seven Premier League matches and have a lengthy injury list.
The Cherries, whose absentees include captain Simon Francis and midfielders Lewis Cook and Dan Gosling, also suffered defeat in their Carabao Cup quarter-final at Chelsea on Wednesday evening.
Hughton was at Stamford Bridge for that tie and, ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Vitality Stadium, insists the Dorset club remain a dangerous opponent.
“They certainly didn’t look like they were struggling then. I thought they were excellent,” said Hughton at this pre-match press conference, according to The Argus.
“Even right up until the end it looked like the game was going to penalties.
“Whichever players come in they know the roles very well.
“He (Howe) has got them playing in the way he wants to, very high-tempo, a lot of pace in the team.
“They have a way of playing and it always smacks me in the face that they are a team where everybody knows their roles and jobs.
“We expect a very difficult game, particularly at Bournemouth.”
The 13th-placed Seagulls travel along the south coast having suffered successive top-flight defeats.
However, they are four points better off than at this stage last term, and Hughton feels his side have become more competitive.
“Points-wise, we’re certainly in a better position but it never, ever feels comfortable,” added Hughton, according to westsussextoday.co.uk
“We are a team that where we stand at the moment has to prepare well for every game and has to give everything for every game.
“As regards a comparison to last season, we’ve been in games more than last season and we’ve generally given most teams a game as such.
“We have to keep them standards up because as soon as you drop those standards, there are too many good teams around.”
Albion will once again be without injured wingers Jose Izquierdo (knee) and Alireza Jahanbakhsh (hamstring).