Albion's manager hopes his side can maintain their fine form throughout December.
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes December could be a crucial month in the club’s quest for promotion to the Premier League this season.
The Seagulls endured a tough run over the festive period last season, and Hughton highlighted the importance of heading into the New Year on the back of a successful festive period.
He said, “It’s generally a big month [December], and probably the reason it’s looked upon in that way is because the players are well into their stride, and fitness levels are probably peaking.
“It’s the period in which we end up having a lot of games over a short period of time, so I think that’s why the month is so important.
“Psychologically and mentally, you want to go into the New Year in a good position, and we’ll certainly want to do better than we did last year.”
The Albion boss believes the experience he’s gained from his previous appointments has enabled him to become a better manager, and feels the tougher times have contributed to his development.
“In any walk of life, whether you’re working in a shop or a bank, you’d like to think that with the more experience you have in that trade, the better you are at your job.
“To improve as a manager, you have to go through those tough periods. I had a very tough period at Newcastle in both divisions, and a tough spell with Norwich in my second season.
“Whether you’re Sir Alex Ferguson or somebody that’s plied their trade in the lower divisions, you are going to go through difficult periods. I certainly feel I’m a better manager for having come through those times."
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Hughton singled out Albion’s heavy defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium last season as one of their most disappointing results, and made it clear his team will not underestimate today’s opponents.
“The Cardiff away game [4-1] is the one that sticks out the most. Our performance wasn’t as bad as it was at Rotherham, but it was one of those days where everything went against us.
“The moment we decided to get into the game, we were already 3-0 down. So that would certainly be one of the lowest moments, regarding both the performance and result.
“I absolutely wouldn’t look at a game against Cardiff City away as any easier than a game against Birmingham, QPR or whoever else.
“You have to look at games that way, because for as much as we think we can win every game, we can also lose them as well."