Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton highlighted the difficulty of stringing together consecutive victories in the Premier League, and believes it would be a great achievement to complete their own hat-trick.
The Seagulls welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Amex Stadium this afternoon, and victory for Hughton’s side would be their third in a row — a record they haven’t matched in the top flight since 1981.
Hughton said, “The prospect of doing it [winning three in a row] is something very appealing and would be something very rewarding — but mostly because it would be another three points.
“Every three points in this division is valuable. When we beat Newcastle last week, the importance of that one was because they’re a team below us and it stretched the gap between us and them.
“We know how difficult this division is, and certainly for a team of our level, even getting back-to-back wins is difficult. It would be a big mark of progress by this team and this club.”
After keeping their first clean sheet of the season against West Ham United, Albion produced another fine display to beat Newcastle United 1-0 at St James’ Park, and Hughton assessed his team’s stubborn defensive displays.
“Always the foundation of getting a good result is starting with the mentality of getting a clean sheet. We haven't changed too much but we have spoke about it.
“In this division it’s very difficult to keep clean sheets. When you don’t get one, it’s not rocket science, you’re just playing against better teams and better players.
“The West Ham result was a big result for us. It was three points against a very good team, but it was that first clean sheet.
“Possibly getting another clean sheet at Newcastle was a consequence of having that mentality. We had to defend very well at Newcastle, but you have to be a threat going forward as well.
“We haven’t changed too much, it’s just been the circumstances, but it’s certainly good to be getting back to some clean sheets.”
Today’s opponents arrive on the south coast in ninth position, having taken 15 points from their opening nine matches, and Hughton applauded the Premier League newcomers for their eye-catching start.
“They have a manager who’s got the best out of the team. He plays in a certain way and that hasn’t changed so much. There’s a real consistency in the shape they played last season.
“They’ve continued that formation and improved the squad. I’ve been really impressed. They’re not a side that’s had a fortunate start, they’ve thoroughly deserved the points they’ve got.
“They’ve been outstanding in some games, considering they’re a newly-promoted team. I don’t think they could have done any more than what they’ve done already this season.”
“They have wonderful options going forward and I think that’s the been the strength of the side. How they’ll continue, nobody knows, but they’ve certainly had a very good, justified start.”