Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Liam Rosenior spoke about Chris Hughton's sacking as the club's manager on Sky Sports last night.
Rosenior, who played 51 games for the Seagulls in three seasons under Hughton before retiring to take up a coaching role, spoke highly of Hughton on The Debate show.
Hughton was sacked by Albion on Monday morning after a run of just three wins in 23 Premier League games, although he did keep the Seagulls in the top flight for a second successive season and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Rosenior said: "First and foremost I can only say good things about Chris Hughton. As a manager he's been outstanding wherever he's been and as a person he's had the biggest influence on me in terms of how to conduct yourself as a professional - whether that's as a player, a coach or a manager.
"Whatever he does next he'll be a success.
"In terms of what happened today, it was a sad day for the club and a sad day for the chairman to have to make the decision.
"It was a sad day for the staff. For four years there was an unbelievable relationship between everyone at the football club.
"Over the last six months there's been a staleness in performance and we've only won three in 23. It's a very difficult stage for the football club - a football club that has been in the Premier League for two years and now the natural question is 'what's next?'.
"It was a really difficult step and for me a really difficult one on a personal level."
Rosenior was on The Debate with Chelsea Women's manager Emma Hayes and former Coventry and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin.
Hayes felt Hughton deserved the opportunity to try to take Brighton forward and said: "It's so challenging in a profession where there's so little loyalty and dignity.
"We're talking about a person who has brought so much to the football club and got them to a point where firstly they're staying in the Premier League.
"However this is not a business that's kind. I think he deserved the opportunity to reflect with the football club about what was needed because there's a reality to that staleness in performance.
"That lethargy comes as a result of many things. It may come from poor training performance from the players, it may come from a number of different factors.
"Perhaps the reflection could have been in and around what they could have given further to support Chris.
"Maybe some freshness and something different. I say that speaking from being in a position of how hard it is to continue to sustain any level of performance when you've got exactly the same people around you.
"The disappointing part is he kept them in the Premier League with Cardiff chasing their tail."
Dublin felt Hughton's dismissal was harsh and said: "I don't know what the percentage is in regards what fans wanted him and what fans wanted him out.
"I'd like to ask fans, what do you expect from your football club? What should you be achieving in the Premier League bearing in mind the stature of the club?
"They have a good fanbase, not huge, not a City or Liverpool but good, they have a great training ground, good ground, good manager, good backbone of a team, everything seems to be going for them, fans are always there for home games, what do you expect?
"What are they going to say? Tenth, seventh or just happy to play some good football and stay in the Premier League?
"If good football doesn't keep you in the Premier League, what are you going to do?"
Rosenior and Dublin added the next managerial appointment is crucial for Brighton.
Swansea manager Graham Potter is on the odds-on favourite with bookies and Rosenior said: "For Brighton right now, it's about how do we get to the next level? How do we start to compete with your Southamptons?
"That's the next step for any football club. The next appointment is crucial following in the footsteps of someone who has got a team promoted and kept them successfully in the Premier League for two seasons."
Dublin said: "You've got to get it right to take Brighton to where the hierarchy want Brighton to go.
"Before we get to that next step, I want to know why they got rid of Chris? Is it just the results?
"If Chris Hughton has got sacked because of the last part of the season I think it's pretty embarrassing."
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