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Club News


30 December 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Chris Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes the club has progressed more than he expected, as he approaches his three-year anniversary in the job.
Tomorrow marks three years to the day since Hughton’s appointment on New Year’s Eve in 2014, and the Seagulls boss has been pleasantly surprised to see his side in the position they are currently in.
He said, “When I came in, the club was having a difficult season, like any club can have.
“The club had reached the play-offs the two seasons before that, and my first season here was a very difficult one.
“Ultimately the ambition was to get to the Premier League, but there are only a few teams that can do it.
“A lot of them will be teams that have gone down and come back up again. It is more difficult for the teams that have not been there before, like ourselves and Huddersfield.
“I think we are ahead of where I expected us to be in three years. In our game, most managers are not there after three years. I’m really delighted with where we are at this moment.”
Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy have received plenty of plaudits for their displays in the heart of Albion’s defence this season, and Hughton feels the duo have adapted brilliantly to Premier League football.
“Connor Goldson got his opportunity the game before and played very well, but in Duffy and Dunk, you’ve got two players that have played together for a season and a half now.
“They have got to know each other well, and have played together for such a long period due to the consistency in their performances.
“Last season they were able to perform well together in the Championship, and they’ve done that in half a season in the Premier League, where the individual quality that they’re up against is higher. They’ve both held their own.”
Albion’s players face a quick turnaround following today’s trip to St James’ Park, with Bournemouth the visitors to the Amex in two days’ time, and Hughton admits it’s tricky to always determine the best-possible starting eleven during such a hectic schedule.
“It’s always difficult to decide whether you need to have a bit of rotation, or see how the first game goes before deciding who might play in the second game.
“The fact they come so close together is something unusual for the players. To exert what they will have to do at Newcastle, travel back and get back fairly late on Saturday night and to go again on Monday, is a lot.”

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