Brighton: Charlie Oatway expects twist in play-off race

Charlie Oatway

Brighton first-team coach Charlie Oatway says it will not be a failure if they miss out on the play-off places.

With six games remaining, Albion lie sixth in the Championship table.

Oatway told BBC Sussex: "There are some big teams in this division. I wouldn't say it would be a failure by any stretch of the imagination.

"You have got to bear in mind the teams that are in and around us. There are enough games for people to get points, so before you know it it could change."

The Seagulls are currently two points ahead of Leicester, while Bolton and Middlesbrough still hold hopes of a late push for the play-offs.

And Oatway is aware of how quickly the picture can change.

"Nottingham Forest were not in the pack a few weeks ago," he said.

"There are sides which can easily do it - Blackpool did it a few years ago [winning six of their last seven games to make the play-offs in 2010, eventually winning promotion].

"Everyone has got games they think are going to be tough and a few teams have to play each other.

"We are in there and amongst it. It is down to ourselves now to make sure we stay there until the bitter end. Before, we were looking for one or two results to go our way.

"Hopefully the experience of the players will bear us fruit. It will be draining and in this handful of games we have left we need to make sure we pick up points to be in that pack at the end."

Brighton welcome Leicester City to the Amex Stadium this weekend in what could prove to be a defining game in the race to secure a play-off spot.

Victory for the Sussex club will see them move five points clear of the Foxes, while the away side will leapfrog Albion should they win.

However, Oatway believes Brighton are punching above their weight this season and cites Leicester as one of a number of sides he expected to be behind at this stage of the campaign.

"I am surprised to be above quite a few and that is my own personal opinion," he said.

"Regarding the budget and firepower there a few clubs which should be higher, given what they've got. Leicester were my tip to go up automatically.

"This one game is a big game but there are still other games to go. There will be more twists and turns. I am convinced."