“There will be a frustration and disappointment because in such a short period of time, the dynamics have changed a little bit,” Brighton boss Hughton said of the club’s league position.

“In general most people felt we were quite comfortable but we never, ever felt that way.

“Our level of performance has been good but we all know it’s about picking points up.

“We’re hoping it (the cup) is a welcome distraction.”

The draw appears to have opened up for Brighton after they were handed another home tie against second-tier opposition having edged past West Brom in a fourth-round replay.

Albion are one of only seven Premier League teams remaining in the competition, with one of those guaranteed to be eliminated before the next round as holders Chelsea host Manchester United on Monday evening in a repeat of last season’s final.

Despite Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham being among the clubs already out, Hughton insists his side cannot afford to look too far ahead.

“For us, it has to be about making sure we get through this next round,” he said.

“If we start thinking beyond that then we won’t get past a very good Derby side.

“But it is definitely a great opportunity for somebody. And we are part of that group of teams.

“It’s unusual for so many Premier League teams to be out at this stage.

“Even if we’re not talking about winning it – because ultimately it’s generally going to be one of the top six who wins it – there’s a really good opportunity for somebody to get through to the latter stages, which for a club like ourselves is deemed a success.”

With Brighton’s next league game not until February 26, Hughton plans to take his players abroad following the clash with Frank Lampard’s Rams.

He added: “Yes, we will go away. I’m not prepared to tell you where!

“I’m not even sure if it’s warmer than here at the moment. I think it’s just a change of environment.

“We won’t particularly be doing team bonding stuff or anything, I think it’s just a really good opportunity for us to get away for what we hope is a bit better weather and an opportunity to have three or four good days of work.”

Source : Press Association