Chris Hughton has defended the right of the so-called smaller clubs to set up negatively against the likes of Manchester City.
Newcastle drew criticism from some quarters, notably TV pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, for their tactics in their 1-0 defeat at home to the runaway leaders on Wednesday night.
Hughton's Brighton side, who like Newcastle were promoted from the Championship last season, have played each of the top six this term and failed to take a point from any of them. They may be safely in mid-table but some Seagulls fans were still frustrated that they failed to lay so much as a glove on Chelsea during their 2-0 St Stephen's Day defeat. But Albion boss Hughton said: "Not everyone realises how difficult it is against the top six, particularly City at this moment and the way they can blow teams away.
"Everyone has the right to set their team up how they feel is the right way against what is certainly by far the best team in the country at the moment."
Brighton head to Newcastle tomorrow on a run of just one win in their last nine matches.