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HUGHTON: CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGEMENT IS TOUGHER

17 December 2016

Albion's manager on the turnover of his counterparts, striking options and having strength in depth.


Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton says the challenge of managing in the Sky Bet Championship is greater than being in charge of a Premier League club.

Albion take on Birmingham City at St Andrew’s today, with the Blues having a new manager at the helm, as Gianfranco Zola replaced Gary Rowett in charge.

Hughton has managed in the top two flights of English football and explained the limited time his counterparts have to achieve success.

He said, “I think the facts speak for themselves. To be sitting as the third longest-serving manager in the Championship, having only been here for almost two years, it’s a sad indictment of where we are at the moment.

“We wouldn’t have been talking in these types of terms a good few years ago. So it [the Championship] has to be tougher, because there are far more managers in this division losing their jobs.

“I suppose there has been a little more stability at the top end, in the Premier League, and I think the game has got to be grateful for that.

“But there's an alarming number of Championship managers losing their jobs, so the answer has to be yes, it is tougher.”

Hughton recalled Tomer Hemed to the starting line-up against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night, and the Albion boss spoke about his options when choosing who leads the line for the Seagulls.

“Sam [Baldock] has a particular role, I think we know the way that he plays, but I certainly haven’t ruled out Tomer [Hemed] and Glenn [Murray] playing together.

“They played together at the start of the season, and we had a very good away performance at Derby in first game of the season where the two of them both played.

“So I haven’t ruled that out, it’s just about how we manage the two players and their roles, but Sam’s in good form at the moment.

“He’s playing at a good level consistently, and he is probably the only one we’ve got of that type of player.”

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Albion defender Lewis Dunk is one booking away from serving a two-game suspension, but Hughton expressed his comfort at having competent replacements waiting to step forward.

“He [Connor Goldson] trains very well and he’s a very good player, so I have no concerns about him coming into the team, absolutely none.

“Dunky’s on nine bookings now and the last two have not been tackle-orientated, so I think that’s something he’s got to learn.

“But that comes with experience. There are aspects of his game where I think he’s really improved, and that’s just another one he’s got to improve on.

“But I’ve got absolutely no concerns about [Lewis] Dunk potentially missing a couple of games. It doesn’t have to be a suspension, we could have an injury to Shane [Duffy] or Dunky, and then Connor or Uwe [Huenemeier] would have to come in.”

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V QUEENS PARK RANGERS

TUESDAY 27TH DECEMBER, KICK-OFF 12.30PM


ALBION V CARDIFF CITY

FRIDAY 30TH DECEMBER, KICK-OFF 7.45PM



ALBION V MILTON KEYNES DONS

SATURDAY 7TH JANUARY, KICK-OFF 3PM


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