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HUGHTON'S PRAISE FOR GAME-CHANGING LEICESTER

19 August 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes Leicester City’s achievement of winning the Premier League in 2016 changed football, but doesn't expect the feat to be matched any time soon.

The Seagulls travel to the King Power Stadium this afternoon, and Hughton assessed Craig Shakespeare’s team, who opened their season with an entertaining 4-3 defeat away to Arsenal.


He said, “They are a good side and I think they are the type of team, whether they are playing at home or away, that will have the same philosophies.

“They are the type of team you could see being in every game, whether at home or away. They have developed, there's no doubt about that, from the success that they have had.

“Did it change something in football? [winning the Premier League] Yes it did. But I still think that it will be incredibly difficult for anybody to do it again.

“What Leicester needed, of course, was for a lot of the other teams to not excel like they’ve done in other seasons. It was such an extraordinary event.”

Anthony Knockaert


Anthony Knockaert could feature against his former employers this afternoon, and Hughton commented on the positive spell the Frenchman had at the club, before leaving for Standard Liege in 2015.

“In his time at Leicester he did very well. I know he was well thought of and the supporters were very much behind him.

“I’d like to think he doesn’t have a point to prove, I don’t think he’s that type of lad anyway. I think he’ll want to enjoy going back there because he'll have a lot of friends there.

“Some players, in fact quite a few, will still be there from his time at the club. The supporters were very fond of him and I think he’ll get a good reception.

“He’s a very infectious player. With regard to his abilities and the level he’s at, I would probably say he’s at his best level so far. He’s on the back of a very, very good season.”

Anthony Knockaert, Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy signed new contracts.


Knockaert joined team-mates Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy in signing brand new contracts at the club this week, and Hughton spoke about Dunk’s promising future and the level of experience he has at 25 years of age.

“He's got huge potential. We almost, in one breath, look at him as a young player because I suppose he's inexperienced at the top level but on the other side we don’t.

“This is a player that's been playing regularly for the last five years, 24 years of age now. He must have been going for almost 200 league games, so he's not a young player and certainly has a lot of experience.
 
“When I put him up against some of the players in this division, similar ages and so, then yes I think he's a player of huge potential, and it's a big season for him because this is first season at Premier League level.

“He's been spoken very well about, he's done great for me over the last couple of seasons and, along with everyone else, it's a big season for him, but he's progressing nicely.”


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