Albion's manager hailed the performance from his side this season.
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton said that there were early indications the team would do well this season, but said his side’s progress has eclipsed even his own expectations.
The Albion manager acknowledged that a fast start was vital and that expectations rose as the campaign progressed.
He said, “There were certainly signs in pre-season that if we started well, then maybe our expectations would change.”
“After the first few games, it changed. We understood where we were last year and the objective was to stay up. But from the beginning of this season, I could feel a difference and we recruited very well in the summer.”
“There was a feeling amongst the team that it could be a decent season, but we didn’t expect to be where we are now. But we have great confidence as a group and that has shown in our performances.”
LATEST NEWS FROM SEAGULLS.CO.UK
- REPORT: CHARLTON 1 ALBION 3
- GALLERY: CHARLTON ATHLETIC
- HUGHTON PRAISES ALBION'S RESILIENCE
- SKALAK'S TELLING CONTRIBUTION
- KAYAL WINS PLAYER OF THE SEASON AWARD
Hughton feels the club may be under less external pressure than Burnley and Middlesbrough, but is still urging his players to rise to the challenge of securing promotion.
“There is certainly more pressure on the other two clubs because their expectations were different at the beginning of the season. They have both spent more but as for the players, the pressure is the same.”
“It is a nice position to be in but we don’t want to avoid the pressure, we are welcoming it and if you have it, then it means you’re close to success.”
“It’s crucial period and the club and players are enjoying it. his is the closest opportunity we have had, whether we gain promotion automatically or through the play-off system, we have an opportunity and we hope to grasp it.”
The Seagulls boss says Albion have the facilities to rival any Premier League team and believes his players have the right mentality, whatever the challenge.
“Our stadium and training complex are up there with the very best. In terms of on the pitch, we have never been in the Premier League.”
“Any team that gets manages to get there by any means deserves it and the opportunity too. If we get promoted then we would deserve it.”
“If we have to go via the play-offs, the plus side is we don’t have to wait very long. There isn’t time to dwell on missing out, we will have to prepare and be ready to go again.”
Tweets by @OfficialBHAFC