BOSS Chris Hughton says Albion should be proud of their mid-table position in the Premier League.

But he is frustrated they are only four points clear of the relegation zone.

The Seagulls are 12th with 18 games to go after the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on Boxing Day.

Hughton said: “I want them (players) to feel proud of where we are and what we’ve achieved so far, but frustrated because we could have done better.

“Would we have been happy at the start of the season to be in the position we are in now? The answer would be yes.

“But we could have done better. If anything, in the second half of the season, it will get harder.”

Albion, with one win from their last nine matches, face key fixtures away to Hughton’s former club Newcastle on Saturday and against Bournemouth at the Amex on New Year’s Day (12.30pm).

Hughton said: “Both are very difficult games. The turnaround between Newcastle and Bournemouth is even quicker, so recovery will be important.

“If you look at our season so far, that’s where our points have come from (games like them). Particularly at home.

“There will be a bit more pressure to get points at home.

“I’m sure that won’t change. But that’s our season so far. I can’t see it changing too much in the second half.”

Izzy Brown comes back into the reckoning for the twin challenge.

The loan signing was ineligible to play against parent club Chelsea.