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HUGHTON EXPECTS NORWICH TO BE CONTENDERS

29 October 2016

Albion's manager assessed his former club's start to the season.


Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton praised former club Norwich City for their solid start to the season, and expects the Canaries to be one of the key contenders for promotion this season.

The Norfolk side currently sit fourth in the Sky Bet Championship, and Hughton feels his former club are well prepared to bounce back from the disappointment of last season’s relegation from the Premier League.

He said, “It’s no surprise [they’ve started well], they were most people’s favourites to go straight back up again, along with Newcastle.

“They’ve got a very good squad, and they’ve also got the knowhow from the last few seasons, acquitted themselves very well in the Championship and are a top side.

“It’s very difficult for any team that takes that step into the Premier League, it often takes two or three goes to get it right, but they’re pushing very hard and will be determined to go straight back up.”

The Albion boss left Norwich in 2014 before joining the Seagulls later that year, and Hughton reflected on his time at Carrow Road.

“I had two seasons there and the second one was definitely more difficult than the first, where we managed to finish in 11th place and went on a wonderful run over Christmas.

“I look back on my time there very fondly, it was a really good experience to be there with some very good people.”

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The Seagulls boast the best defensive record in the SkyBet Championship, and Hughton praised the defensive contribution of the entire team, as they go in search of a tenth clean sheet.

“That’s a consequence of the work the whole team are doing [defensive record], and it’s the same for when you’re scoring goals, you’d like to think it’s a team effort.

“Keeping clean sheets is not just about the back four and a goalkeeper, despite it being great recognition for them, it’s about the team effort.

“In the game at Wigan last Saturday which wasn’t one of our better performances, the clean sheet was probably the thing I was most happy about, because it gives you that foundation.

“It’s about the team working very hard to make sure we’re a good unit, and hopefully that gives us opportunities to win games.”

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