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The Seagulls ensured safety in the last season with two games to go by beating Man United to reach 40 points and Hughton has called upon the players to do the same this time around.
The drop has been beaten with fewer points in recent seasons but Hughton is not prepared to take any risks even though his team are five points and five places clear of the relegation zone.
He told The Argus: “It never is (40 needed) but we still always do (aim for it). That’s your safety net as such.
“I think that’s a sensible one to look to achieve and of course the quicker you can get there the better.”
Brighton recovered from a 4-2 defeat against Fulham to play out a goalless draw against Watford at home, leaving Hughton happy with the performance but not the result.
Hughton said: “The initial reaction is disappointment, because it’s a game we should have won. If it wasn’t then you’d be more happy with a draw.
“Ultimately it’s about points. You always look back on games you should have won but in the end, it’s a good point.
“In the last ten minutes when they had the chance you are thinking it’s going to hit the back of the net, so you are thinking you are going to come away with nothing from a good performance against a good team. So there are pluses to the point.”