Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes that the Seagulls and this afternoon’s opposition Newcastle United are two closely-matched sides, given their respective fortunes over the last few seasons.
The Albion boss takes his side to one of his former clubs at St James’ Park today looking for back-to-back victories in the Premier League, and reflected on how both clubs have fared in recent times.
He said, “I would say we’ve been on the same level over the last few seasons – the fact they went down and came back and just pipped us to the title shows that.
“When Newcastle went down they recruited players that they believed could get them back into the division – they’re a massive club who have had a lot more years at this level, but at the moment the teams are quite similar.
“Both them and ourselves also have a generally similar way of playing in terms of a formation, and it’s one we’ve played a lot over the last few seasons.”
Hughton was the manager on Tyneside until December 2010, having guided the Magpies back into the top flight at the first time of asking following relegation in the 2008/09 campaign – and the boss looked back on his time at the club.
“I don’t think there are any difficult jobs, I just think there are difficult times within positions.
“If I look at my period of time I was there, when we got relegated was obviously a difficult time, but we got promotion which was always the aim, so the dynamics change.
“It’s been that type of club where they have had tough spells, but they’ve also had good ones as well and periods of consolidation.”
Having spent nearly four years on the south coast with Albion to date, the manager also discussed the dynamics involved with club management and the change in emphasis towards short-term success within the game.
“What a football club will always have is people at the top who will have a way they want their club run and a direction they want it to go in - as a manager you work from day to day – results dictate your mood and that’s how I think both myself and a lot of managers work nowadays.
“It’s changed now, and I think the importance on the short term has grown and making sure you’re getting results and allowing the team to grow – because of how the game is now, it’s very different.
“The owner of this football club has a vision and there’s no doubt that every club and manager wants stability.
“Managers will always go through difficult spells and periods and that’s something that will never change – even the top managers will have them, but as managers we feel we need stability to secure results and success.”