Chris Hughton's Brighton backed to avoid the dreaded drop

Mike Holden by Mike Holden / 12 August 2017, 11:39

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) takes a look at what we can expect from Chris Hughton and Brighton during the 2017/18 Premier League season.

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Background

If there was any lingering doubt about whether Brighton had already outgrown the Championship, they put the matter to bed when hoovering up 42 points from a possible 48 between September and January. Promotion was clinched with three games to spare, now Chris Hughton guides the Seagulls through their first top-flight campaign since 1983. The former Norwich boss finished 11th at this level four years ago but didn’t survive the following campaign. Summer business has been intriguing with Albion doing most of their shopping abroad

Personality

Hughton is a standard bearer, an advocate of tradition and order. He’s extremely level-headed and leads by example, remaining calm and composed in the face of any struggle. He never allows his emotions to interfere with rational thought, a mindset that generates consistency. Players appreciate the clarity with which he operates. Tactics are never complicated and his instructions are concise. He is a man of principle and his principles are widely respected, allowing him to push an unclouded vision of what is and what isn’t acceptable.

Quote

"For us, there are some great examples of teams that have gone up and stayed up. So yes, we’ll look at having as many good experiences as we can, and that goes for the whole season, not just the start. You’ve got to be able to overcome those difficult experiences that are going to come in this league. We are playing in a division now where we are going to be severely tested and we are going to have to vary our game at times."

Verdict

Brighton have had to wait patiently for their Premier League bow but the extra year they spent in the Championship might do their survival prospects no harm. To a steady manager like Hughton, that time has been well spent reinforcing values and solidifying the platform from which the Seagulls should be able to go out and express themselves freely. They are more cohesive than your average promoted side and you’d back them to put a run together at some stage. Forty points is the target, nothing more.

Prediction: 16th

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