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Vital that Huddersfield Town bounce back with bright performance at Brighton and Hove Albion

Football Writer Doug Thomson looks forward to the Amex Stadium meeting

Huddersfield Town must quickly kick their FA Cup setback at Reading into touch and bounce back with a bright and breezy Championship performance at Brighton and Hove Albion.

It won’t be easy, because not only are the Seagulls a very decent team, albeit one who have struggled for form of late, but Town, beaten 5-2 on Tuesday, also have to contend with the extra game factor.

As boss David Wagner pointed out, while his side were not only in action, but for two-thirds of the Reading replay with only 10 men, Brighton were ‘on the sofa’.

There will have been around 1,000 miles of travelling in a week when the Town team bus arrives back in Huddersfield from the South coast.

But the club have done their best to take the sting out of the trips, with plane journeys to both games and overnight stays after Reading and before Brighton.

That means sleep patterns and training times have been disturbed as little as possible, and hopefully, that will be reflected at the Amex Stadium, where Town are seeking a first win in four attempts at the venue having played out goalless draws in their last two visits there.

Brighton, who were flying high before a blip of seven without a win, have been beaten in their last three home games, by Middlesbrough, Ipswich Town and Wolves.

Take a look at Town's season so far in pictures below

And last week’s winner by Bobby Zamora in the snow at Blackburn Rovers was their first goal in seven games.

There’s little doubt Wagner will want to extend the misery of the Seagulls supporters rather than go for a draw, and after two Town away wins under the German, why not?

Let’s not forget Town are unbeaten in five in the Championship, and produced some excellent football against divisional rivals Reading before the FA Cup game went pear-shaped.

The key red card for Jonathan Hogg means a one-match ban for the midfielder, but Wagner can again call on Dean Whitehead and has Philip Billing waiting in the wings.

And keeper Jed Steer, beaten just once in his last three games, looks set to return in place of Joe Murphy after being ineligible for the Cup under the terms of his loan from Aston Villa.

Chris Hughton, whose side are fifth to Town’s 16th, has plenty of talented players at Brighton, not least forwards Zamora and Tomer Hemed, who have six goals apiece, and former Leicester City man Anthony Knockaert.

But Saturday’s victory at Blackburn was their first in nine, so it’s clear that Albion, who went unbeaten in their first 21 league games, aren’t invincible any longer.

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Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
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