Hughton backs 'outstanding' Wenger to turn Arsenal around

Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes under-fire Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger can recover from a bad spell.

Premier League managers Arsene Wenger and Chris Hughton   -  Getty Images

Arsene Wenger is an "outstanding" manager and will turn things around at struggling Arsenal, according to Chris Hughton.

Brighton and Hove Albion host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday, the Gunners having lost seven games in all competitions in 2018.

Arsenal - soundly beaten in Sunday's EFL Cup final - suffered a second 3-0 humbling against Manchester City in the space of five days on Thursday, with Wenger's side left 10 points outside the Champions League spots in sixth.

But Hughton thinks under-fire Wenger can bounce back from one of the most testing spells of his 21-year spell at Arsenal.

"He is an outstanding manager - has been and still is," Hughton told reporters on Friday.

"There is no one with more experience and I have absolute respect for what he has done and the ability he still has.

"Sympathy is probably the wrong word. Arsene is a manager who has been around for so long and go through so many periods.

"You can't be a manager of that long without having difficult periods. The majority of time he has been there, there have been pluses.

"There isn't anyone with more experience to handle difficult times than Arsene and he will make sure he wants to get things right."

A run of sixth unbeaten games has seen Brighton ease away from the Premier League's relegation zone, the Seagulls in 12th ahead of Arsenal's visit.

But Hughton believes it is the wrong moment to be facing Wenger's men, Arsenal having lost four of their last five games in all competitions.

"They will want a reaction, but we need to make sure we can look after our own business," Hughton said.

"Most would say it's arguably the worst time to play them because they'll want a reaction but we've just got to make sure we get on with the job in hand and play to the levels we know we can play."