BOSS Chris Hughton is still looking down as Albion head into their final game of the year at home to Everton.

The Seagulls are ten points clear of the relegation zone after the Boxing Day draw against Arsenal at the Amex.

That is twice as many as at the same stage last season and they are only five points adrift of Everton in eighth, but Hughton remains cautious of the danger of being dragged into a dogfight.

He told The Argus: "I think that, for as much as we might want to talk about making progress, it's still only our second season.

"So for me – and I say this in a good way – the most important direction is down.

"If we can keep that gap between ourselves and the bottom three, for me that's more important than anything.

"It's a big point (Arsenal) and a point that we needed. We'd had three defeats on the spin. I think we can gain something from the performance as well."

Albion visit West Ham, host Liverpool and go to Manchester United after Everton tomorrow.

Hughton has been alternating between top scorer Glenn Murray and Romanian Florin Andone to lead the attack and has that decision to make again against the Merseysiders.

He said: It's very difficult but that's my job and my responsibility. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong.

"You only know if you have got it right by a performance or result but you want to have those problems.

"The more difficult decisions you have to make then it means players are doing well. I'd rather have those decisions to make than easy ones."

Lewis Dunk returns from suspension to reunite with ex-Evertonian Shane Duffy in the centre of defence.