Chris Hughton - The Championship Specialistby Simon Lillicrap / 28 February 2017, 16:07Tweet
Chris Hughton faces his former side Newcastle tonight (Tuesday) in a crunch clash at the top of the Championship. Whoever wins this encounter between the Toon and Brighton looks set for a return to the Premier League and the Championship title along the way.
Brighton boss Hughton has already tasted the sweet success of Championship promotion before, as he led Newcastle to the Promised Land in 2009/10. We analyse the statistics and reasons behind his success in the division.
Hughton was given his first opportunity in the Championship with Newcastle United and he was an instant hit. He led the side comfortably to the title at their first attempt. His side were unbeaten in all competitions at St James’ Park as Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan fired them back to the Premier League. Many fans were delighted with the management of the side at the time and were left outraged as Hughton was dismissed in December the following season with the club 11th in the Premier League.
His record in the Championship at the time stood at: Played 46 Won 30 Drawn 12 Lost 4.
Hughton’s home record has always been the foundation of his Championship success. He has been on the end of just 10 league losses from 99 games at home in the division.
Hughton's next role took him to the Midlands as Birmingham secured his services for the 2011/12 season. He led them to a 4th place finish having lost just once at St Andrew’s throughout his leadership. The Blues came unstuck in the play-offs against an exciting Blackpool side before Hughton departed for Premier League Norwich in the summer.
His updated Championship record after his spell at Birmingham read: Played 92 Won 50 Drawn 28 Lost 14 with just one home defeat in two whole seasons in charge.
His form in the Premier League with Norwich was good in his first season in charge as he led them to an 11th place finish, however Norwich took the decision to sack their manager in April when they were 17th in the table, although this decision backfired on as they were relegated.
He returned to the Championship with his current club Brighton on New Year’s Eve 2014, with Brighton 20th in the league. He steered them away from relegation before amounting a huge 89 points last term as Brighton missed out on the automatic places on goal difference. They stalled in the play-offs but Hughton has built a squad capable of winning the league, as we are seeing this season.
His win ratio at Brighton is just under 50% and he has lost just one game at the Amex in the league this season. Tonight’s huge game is a chance for him to get his own back on his former club and banish the sour taste left from his departure.
Having got so close to the Premier League last season, Hughton and Brighton would be fully deserving of a place in England’s top flight.