Albion's manager spoke about how well Barnsley have adapted to the Championship.
Chris Hughton is impressed with Barnsley’s positive start to life in the Sky Bet Championship, and says the entire division is well aware of the threat posed by last season’s League One play-off winners.
Brighton & Hove Albion welcome the South Yorkshire club to the Amex today, and Hughton highlighted the strides made by the Tykes at the start of this season.
He said, “For those that hadn’t taken much notice of their early-season form, the 4-0 victory at Wolves would have made them stand up, because that’s an unbelievable result away from home.
“If you asked a lot of people about Barnsley at the start of the season, there wouldn’t be too many that knew much about them.
“The people that know the Championship well and followed it last season would have been unaware of Barnsley, but they won’t be now.”
Albion have already beaten one of this season’s early front-runners on home soil, as they sealed a 1-0 triumph against Huddersfield, but Hughton thinks this weekend’s visitors have made an even bigger impression.
“If I looked at Huddersfield’s position in the league, they showed really good signs last season that they could improve and have a good season.
“But I suppose the fact that Barnsley have just come up, it’s generally expected to be that little bit tougher for them, but there is always a team that can be a surprise package.
“They had a very confident season last year, and they’ve managed to keep that confidence going.”
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The Seagulls have recorded back-to-back clean sheets in the league by beating the Terriers and Burton Albion, and Hughton praised central defender Lewis Dunk for his all-round contribution.
“If you’re looking at the strengths of Dunky, then he is somebody who is capable of getting goals and is a good player on the ball. But more importantly, he’s a player that can defend very well.
“Most managers would be happy with ball-playing centre-halves, but only providing they can defend as well."
The Albion manager also gave an update on Solly March's recovery from a long-term knee injury and highlighted the importance of not rushing the winger back.
“We have three [under-23] games coming up, including a Premier League Cup game here [v Nottingham Forest at the training ground] next Saturday, and Stevenage away on the Tuesday evening.
“He’ll play in one of those games, but I’m not so sure about this Monday, it will more than likely be the following Saturday.
“We’re working on the balance at the moment, as it’s important that we have him back to stay.”
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