CHRIS Hughton believes Eddie Howe deserves “admiration” for the job he is doing with Cherries.

The two managers are set to go head-to-head tomorrow when Cherries travel to Brighton (3pm), with both sides looking to get over the line in their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Like Howe, Hughton guided his side to promotion from the Championship and appreciates the scale of the task his opposite number this weekend has overseen at Vitality Stadium.

The Brighton boss said: “For any manager to do what Eddie Howe has done with the club needs admiration.

“The bulk of the players came through the leagues with the club and you have to admire that. It’s his club as such, apart from a short period away. He’s been there a long time.”

Cherries sit five points above Brighton ahead of Saturday’s clash at the Amex but after Burnley took all three points last time out, Howe’s men are now on a run of just one win in nine.

However, Hughton says Cherries’ downturn has been no great shock given the strength of the Premier League.

He said: “I’m never surprised by any team’s form in this division because there is so much quality.

“Bournemouth are still a level of club that are going to have highs and lows. There are always going to be a group of teams that have the financial clout to stay clear of the rest.

“Bournemouth are in a group of teams in a Premier League season which are going to have ups and downs.”

He added: “We know the quality they’ve got and they’re generally quite close games against Bournemouth.

“We know each other very well as a club and players. They’ve had a little turnaround with the players they’ve had, but they are a very good side.

“We have to prepare for the quality they’ve got.”