Manchester United welcomes Brighton and Hove Albion challenge

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been routinely overlooked by manager Jose Mourinho this season

"Of course we try and play as good as possible, but the most important thing is to win games". "He can not go more than 65 to 70 minutes because that's when fatigue normally arrives and, with so many matches consecutively, we need to protect such an important player for us". If we want to fight for every title, every game at Old Trafford has to be a final for us. While Pogba will start once again, Ibrahimovic will have to make do with another stint off the bench as their game times continue to be managed following their returns from their respective injuries. But he needs time, he is not ready.

Meanwhile, he believes that the attitude of manager Jose Mourinho is ideal for United, where the expectation level is such that they must challenge on every front.

Mourinho also played down concerns over the eight-point gap leaders City have over United.

Despite the prospect of playing at a venue where United have not lost since September 2016, Hughton sees no reason to think his men can not spring a surprise. We have a good example from last weekend.

"In this moment, we haven't yet reached 50 per cent of the season so let's be calm".

Armenia international Mkhitaryan has played 16 times for United in all competitions this term
Armenia international Mkhitaryan has played 16 times for United in all competitions this term

"It's a discussion between the player and the board", Mourinho said, adding that "the decisions are not in my control".

However, following Saturday's trip to Old Trafford, where United have not lost since September 2016, Brighton will host rivals Crystal Palace on Tuesday night before then welcoming Liverpool.

It is a big few weeks for United as they prepare to visit Watford and Arsenal in their two Premier League games after this one, before the small matter of the Manchester derby against City on December 10.

Brighton went on a five-match winning run over the festive period in the Championship last season and Hughton is hoping his players can have another strong end to the year.

"You never know what can happen in football and in life".

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