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STEPHENS PRAISES HUGHTON'S IMPACT

17 April 2017

The Albion midfielder spoke about the influence of the Seagulls manager.


Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens highlighted the level of respect his team-mates have for Chris Hughton, and praised the Seagulls boss for his managerial pedigree within English football.

Albion could secure promotion to the Premier League today, as Hughton’s team take on Wigan Athletic at the Amex, and Stephens believes the Seagulls manager deserves another chance to manage in the top flight.

He said, “I think he's a very good manager and he’s proven that at this level. Hopefully he can get another opportunity to show that in the Premier League.

“He’s got the respect of every player and every member of staff, and he did from the moment he walked through the door, purely because of his pedigree at this level.

“He shouts when things are going wrong. It’s great that he can do that, he’s a calm character but when things aren't going right, he makes it known.

“He gets his point across when we don't do our job. He’s obviously kept his feet on the ground and kept us focused on what our main target is this season."

The Latics head to the south coast on the back of two successive victories in their battle against relegation, but Stephens backed his team-mates to maintain their focus and extend their own winning streak to five games.

“It’s going to be another tough game. Wigan are fighting, but we’re at home and it’s going to be another exciting game for us. Everyone is confident.

“We’ve got to go into the game in the same way we did against Wolves, with the same mentality, but we’re confident after our last result.

“We’re in a good position, playing with a lot of confidence and had some good results recently, so it’s important that we finish the season strongly.

“Whether we go up on Monday or not, we want to win every game from now until the end. The manager has instilled that focus in us.”

Promotion will be mathematically guaranteed if Albion secure victory and Huddersfield Town fail to win at Derby County, and Stephens is keen to get over the line and make history.

“I played against Brighton at Withdean for Oldham, so I know quite a bit about the history and we are reminded of it by the fans.

“If we do it, it will be a massive achievement for everybody, not just me personally, but everybody at this football club.

“Obviously it would go down in the history of the football club, and I’d be proud to be a part of that.”


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