Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton said that Sunday’s Players' Awards at the Amex Stadium showcased the many different successful aspects of the football club.
The Albion boss was speaking after the annual event where there were awards for members of the men’s, women’s and academy sides, as well as Albion in the Community, the James Brynin Fan of the Season and the Sarah Watts Inspiration Award.
He said, “It’s a night that we could obviously enjoy a bit more after the weekend’s result – but we know we’re still in a relegation battle and we still have to think about that until it’s completely safe.
“Tonight’s event shows that this club has made great progress in every aspect in recent years.
“The women’s team have sealed their top-flight status for another campaign and the under-23s have far surpassed expectations in their first season in a new division – it’s been a really good feel tonight for the club.”
Centre-back partners Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk claimed the men’s Player of the Season and the men’s Players’ Player of the Season awards respectively, and Hughton praised the duo for picking up the accolades.
“Shane’s one is one he’ll really appreciate because it’s an accolade that is voted for by the supporters who spend their money watching the side every week,” Hughton continued.
“It’s been an up-and-down season, but the two central defenders have been outstanding, and you could have made a case for either of them to win it [Player of the Season award].
“Shane’s developed every year and has scored five goals this season which have been invaluable – the fans have stuck with us in recent weeks, tonight and every week they’ve been brilliant.”
Albion face Arsenal and Manchester City over the following two weekends, and the manager reflected on the club’s second Premier League season as a whole ahead of their final two contests.
“We’ve had some seasons where we’ve struggled and some where we’ve enjoyed a lot of success – this season has been a bit of a rollercoaster to be honest.
“We’ve had some good periods where we’ve been doing well in the league, and spells where our football has been far better, but we haven’t necessarily got the results.
“We’ve also had the cup run too – to get to Wembley Stadium was a great day for everyone at this football club and we ran Manchester City very close.
“There have been so many different emotions this year. At a club like this there will always be challenges – we now have to make sure we rise to the ones which remain, in order to maintain our status in this league and kick on again next season.”