Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk hailed Chris Hughton’s influence in his development as a player, as the Seagulls boss reached four years in the job on New Year’s Eve.
Dunk praised Hughton’s management style and explained the ways in which he has helped him to improve since arriving on the south coast in 2014.
He said, “I’ve had a few managers at this club, and he’s definitely up there with the best I’ve had in my career.
“It’s massive to have him at the club. He’s been massive for my development, I think I’ve come on leaps and bounds since he’s been in charge. I’ve become more and more consistent and he’s calmed me down as a player.
“A few years ago I was getting a lot of bookings and I’ve calmed down recently. That’s probably down to talking to and learning off him, because he was a defender too.
“He’s taken this club to the next level after it had had been trying to reach the Premier League for a long time. For him to actually do it is a great achievement for the club and the whole city. It’s a massive credit to him.”
Albion head into tomorrow night’s game against West Ham United sitting 13th and ten points above the bottom three, and Dunk explained that while the focus should be on moving up the table, he also urged his team-mates not to become complacent.
“We’ve got to look above us, but we’re nowhere near safe and we’ve got a long way to go.
“There’s just under half a season to go and we’ve got to perform as well in the second half of the season as the first.
“If we do that then I’m sure we’ll be fine. We’ve got to keep pushing on, pick up as many points as we can, and not get carried away with ourselves.”
The centre-back reflected on a memorable 2018 from a personal and team perspective, identifying the survival clinching 1-0 victory over Manchester United and his England debut as his two highlights.
“From a personal point of view, it would be my England debut. I worked very hard to get there and to make my family proud was a great thing for me. To see them after the game was a great honour.
“Hopefully I can stay in the squad until I retire. I’ve just got to keep performing well in the Premier League, while showing the manager what I can do.
“Club wise, it would be the day we beat United in May. There was a real buzz in the stadium and changing room that night knowing we would be Premier League players again next season.”