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Where It All Began With Hughton

By Kieran Cleeves • 08 January 2018

It’s just over three years since Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton took charge of his first match since being appointed as the club’s new manager.

An FA Cup third-round tie against Brentford at Griffin Park stood between Hughton making a positive start to his Albion career, and it was a sign of things to come as the Seagulls progressed to the next round.

Inspired by a 2-0 victory at Fulham, during Nathan Jones’s short reign as caretaker manager, Albion defended admirably throughout their visit to west London.

With a replay at the Amex looking likely, Lewis Dunk arrived in the penalty area to head home from Solly March’s cross in the 88th minute, before Chris O’Grady added another in stoppage time to secure victory.

Having kept just five clean sheets in 24 league games before Hughton’s arrival, the Albion boss was focused on tightening his team’s defence for the remainder of the season, and that’s exactly what happened.

After the FA Cup triumph against the Bees, the Seagulls kept nine clean sheets in their next 22 league games - a run of form which enabled Hughton’s men to steer clear of the relegation zone.

Some 46 league clean sheets later, Albion are now 12th in the Premier League - and again, it’s FA Cup third-round action as Crystal Palace visit the Amex for the second time this season.

Hughton remains Albion's man in the dugout, and after guiding the club to arguably it's most impressive achievement - reaching the Premier League - the 59-year-old has somewhat less to prove on the south coast, three years after his arrival.

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