Manager of the month - Is it a curse?

Chris Hughton could be the special one for the Seagulls (Photograph: Paul Hazlewood, BHAFC)
Chris Hughton could be the special one for the Seagulls (Photograph: Paul Hazlewood, BHAFC)

For the second time in a fortnight, Albion will contest a top-of-the-table clash.

For the second time in a fortnight, Albion will contest a top-of-the-table clash when three-points-behind Hull City visit the Amex.

The Humbersiders have an almost identical record to Albion - scored eight, conceded four - but have lost once, unlike their hosts.

As Chris Hughton’s men clambered back to record an impressive victory at Portman Road - against former leaders Ipswich Town - Hernandez looked like he’d sealed a draw at The Valley with an 89th-minute equaliser, but he hadn’t counted on Icelandic winger Berg Gudmundsson heading the winner for Charlton deep into added-on time.

Hughton and Kazenga LuaLua picked up respective manager and player awards for August. In much the same way as commentators lauding a player’s credentials in a live TV game only for them to either trip over, miss an open goal, or get sent off, the monthly accolades are viewed by some as a poisoned chalice.

After exhaustive research, the results are inconclusive.

Oscar Garcia was the last Albion gaffer to collect the managerial gong for his three wins and a draw during November in 2013/14. Predictably, the Spaniard’s next game was a 2-1 home defeat to lowly Barnsley.

Next up was three-times-winner Gus Poyet whose first experience as manager of the month in the Albion hotseat was in September 2010. A calamitous home defeat to Leyton Orient in the Associate Members Cup was hardly textbook, but four victories - including an Ashley Barnes’ inspired 2-0 win at his former club Plymouth Argyle - and a draw were enough for the Uruguayan’s first trophy. The subsequent fixture ended 1-1. A few months later, he masterminded one of the greatest months in the club’s history, winning all eight league games as Albion strolled to the title. Again, the following game was a stalemate.

The first month at the Amex took advantage of the surge of enthusiasm and goodwill flowing through Sussex as Poyet’s men registered six triumphs - four at home - and a single draw. The match after the international break was a win, 1-0 at Bristol City.

In the top flight, the 2014/15 campaign flew in the face of the superstitious. Swansea boss Garry Monk was the first recipient and then watched his side lose their first match following his presentation - against the future champions at Stamford Bridge.

Of the nine trophies dished out between August and April, February’s winner, Sam Allardyce, was the solitary victor to oversee a defeat in the fixture following the announcement of his victory, with his West Ham United side losing at Stoke City.

So, in conclusion, Albion could win, lose or draw this weekend.