Tony Bloom will have a restless night’s sleep and a decision to make. As an expert card player, does he now stick or twist?
Albion have run out of ideas. Chris Hughton, it appears, cannot motivate his squad any longer. Hughton has pulled the Albion from the depths of the Championship to the glory of the Premier League and will always be a legend in Brighton and Hove.
But his team haven’t scored a Premier League goal since Saturday 9 March and in the past three home matches have conceded eight and scored none, with just one shot on target.
But they were expected to easily dispatch the South Wales side, especially after the humiliation suffered against Bournemouth.
Albion boss Chris Hughton says the 2-0 defeat by Cardiff at the Amex is just as deflating as the 5-0 home drubbing by Bournemouth.
Analysis: No surprise really that Albion are where they are
On 22 minutes Nathaniel Mendez-Laing curled a fantastic effort past Maty Ryan and memories of 1983 came flooding back.
Glenn Murray is another huge legend for Brighton and Hove Albion. Name a bus after him. Name a block of flats in his honour. But his legs have gone. The rare, very rare times either Dale Stephens or Davy Propper threaded a ball through to him, he was too slow react. He physically can’t get to it before the covering defender unless he can hit it first time and hope for the best or get little but of luck.
There was hope just before half time and for a while at the start of the second half. Five minutes later, however, Victor Camarasa floated in a free kick, Ryan stayed rooted and Sean Morrison doubled Cardiff’s advantage with a firm header.
There is no getting away from it, Cardiffs visit to the Amex on Tuesday night is the biggest game Albion have faced in the Premier League.
The Seagulls seemed to be easily knocked off the ball by Cardiff. The Bluebirds were not physically a big team, but strong, well organised and as determined as Neil Warnock to get a result.
Albion had periods off possession and ran themselves into the ground but didn’t trouble Cardiff keeper Neil Etheridge to any great extent.
Andone and March appeared to link up well, Jose Izquierdo replaced Ali Jahanbakash, and Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk alternatively went up front for set pieces. Duffy appeared to have a heated debate with the bench. Dale Stephens misplaced a number of passes, one of which trickled out of play with three Albion players standing within five yards of him.
The team were booed off at the end. Cardiff hadn’t won a top flight away match by more than one goal since 1956.
Its not all over if Albion can manage four points, starting at Wolves away this Saturday (20 April) and Newcastle at home the week after (27 April). They might have a squeak.
But they need a goal, one off the backside like Kurt Nogan’s at the Goldstone in 1992 or Indigo Calderon’s off the face at the Amex in 2013, will do. Score and they might stay up but no further goals means almost certain relegation.
In this case, it is being used of… a football match. So far as I am aware, the players are all safe, there have been no injuries to spectators and the stadium has not collapsed.
Chris Hughton has issued a rallying cry to Brightons under-performing players as they attempt to arrest an alarming slump which has left them in serious danger of Premier League relegation.
The Seagulls were jeered off the pitch following a toothless display during Tuesdays costly 2-0 home loss to fellow strugglers Cardiff.
Brightons latest setback – a fourth successive league defeat without scoring – leaves them only two points above Neil Warnocks 18th-placed Bluebirds in the battle for survival.
Brighton boss Hughton, who has been heavily criticised by sections of the clubs support following recent poor results, admitted to feeling deflated and believes togetherness is required to halt the worrying decline.
As a team, as a club, and as individual players, there is only one way we can ensure we stay in this division: thats by fighting as hard as we can, making sure that, if were not able to score the goals we need, that were not conceding, he said.
Its a deflating feeling at the moment on the back of a big loss for us. Were going to have to show a lot of resilience and togetherness in the games to come.
After amassing 25 points before the turn of the year, Albion have added just eight to that total from a possible 39 in 2019 and plummeted towards the drop zone.
Their success since promotion to the top-flight has been built largely on an impressive record at the Amex Stadium.
However, the Seagulls – who must play Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City in their final five fixtures – have scored only two league goals and picked up just four points in front of their own fans this year.
Were lacking that real cutting edge to allow us to score goals. The team is feeling the pressure from that, added Hughton, who takes his team to Wolves on Saturday.
If were not going to score the goals, we need to be more resilient. Over the last few games, we havent been like that.
After being written off by many pundits and bookmakers, Cardiff have four games left to pull off what appeared to be improbable great escape, starting with Sundays visit of title-chasing Liverpool.
The Bluebirds significantly inferior goal difference on Brighton means they are effectively three points from safety and boss Warnock has urged his players to give everything in the quest for survival.
I think (Liverpool) is a free hit really. Were not going to stay up on goal difference are we?, said Warnock.