Chris Hughton, please forgive us for doubting you - Scott McCarthy

Chris Hughton with Jose Mourinho. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Chris Hughton with Jose Mourinho. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Hands up then - who saw Chris Hughton’s team selection at 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon and had even the smallest slither of doubt about the side he'd selected to face the mighty Manchester United?

Only those who wear the most blue and white tinted of spectacles could claim to be happy with a starting line up that showed only one unenforced change from the side that had performed so poorly at Watford eight days previously.

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Gaetan Bong replacing Bernardo at left back was the only change through choice made by Hughton. His hand was forced when it came to the right back selection, captain Bruno having picked up an injury at Vicarage Road with his place being taken by Martin Montoya.

Despite spending over £50m, Montoya was the only new face to start the game. That was one issue that Albion supporters could've taken with the side.

The other was that nobody bar Bernardo had paid the price for the previous week's disaster. And even that seemed a little harsh on the £9m buy from Red Bull Leipzig, given that he was asked to switch from left back to right back midway through his debut after Bruno picked up the knock which forced him off.

Solly March was the worst performer at Watford, Dale Stephens and Davy Propper anonymous, Anthony Knockaert performing like the petulant child who's had his sweets taken away that we witnessed a little too much of last season. Despite having the likes of Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Yves Bissouma and Jurgen Locadia waiting in the wings, all of them kept their places. Why Chris, why?

Well, come 6pm we knew why. We also know why Hughton is being paid a handsome sum by Tony Bloom to manage the team whilst we’re all receiving daily emails from Paul Barber reminding us that we can't take our own sandwiches into Dick's Bar.

It turned out that Hughton’s selection was spot on. March was a live wire throughout, setting up Glenn Murray for the opener with a superb cross. Knockaert’s pace and energy caused United trouble all afternoon and his toys remained firmly inside of the pram and Davy Propper and Dale Stephens could've found Paul Pogba along with their car keys and wallets after emptying their pockets when they got home that evening.

In a day and age where people seem to crave instant success, it can be all too easy to think that the solution to everything is making changes. Whether that be in terms of a starting line up, signing a whole new team worth of players in a transfer window or even sacking a manager, change always seems to be the answer.

Just look at those United fans leaving the Amex for the short journey back to their homes in Guildford and Basingstoke, who flooded television and radio phone ins with calls for either Mourinho’s head or their club to spend a shed load of money rectifying the problems. Because they've not spent enough already, of course.

In Hughton, Brighton have a manager who puts a lot of stock by loyalty. His line up for United was loyal to those who'd played the previous week, giving them a chance to redeem themselves. It was loyal to those who kept the Albion up last season, giving them the opportunity to prove they can do so again.

It's an underrated quality and one we often take for granted. So next time Hughton names a side that you don't think is good enough because it contains players who failed to perform the previous week, we should all have faith that he knows what he is doing. We wouldn't have come this far without him if he didn't.

Chris, please forgive us all for doubting you. We're sorry. It won't happen again (until we're 3-0 down at home to Fulham in a fortnight's time).