Hughton reflects on defining and motivating periods

Chris Hughton has reflected on some of the season-defining periods after Albion were promoted into the Premier League earlier this week.

Friday, 21st April 2017, 9:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:46 pm
Albion boss Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

The Seagulls now need just three points from three games to clinch the Championship title and will be crowned champions if they win at Norwich tonight.

Looking back on the key periods of the season, Hughton said: "There's probably three areas.

"We lost two games on the spin, at Newcastle and Brentford, at home. We managed to bounce back from that earlier in the season and it was a real important and pivotal time.

"The two away games I would also pick out are Sheffield Wednesday, which was arguably our best away performance against a very good team, and the way we turned things around at Fulham.

"They're one of the best footballing teams in the country and were very good against us for a good period of the game but we managed to turn it around."

When Brighton lost at Nottingham Forest in March, there were questions about whether the Seagulls would falter in the promotion race.

Hughton said that game was used as motivation to move forward and Albion have since won seven of their last eight games.

He said: "We use every method we can to motivate the players and that was a big motivating factor for us.

"Not because of the defeat but because of the manner of it. It was a game that even though we felt one of the goals shouldn't have been allowed, we didn't deserve the victory.

"What you need in a season is those moments that are going to get the players back on track.

"It's very difficult to play at a top level right the way through the season. You need these knock-backs to motivate the players, bring them back down to earth and to re-focus them."

Hughton also feels it is a good time to get out of the Championship and expects the quality of the division to be even higher next season.

He said: "This division is not going to get any easier. If anything, it's going to get tougher and the teams that drop out of the Premier League are going to use their financial muscle to try to get back straight away.

"For us, it's the best time to come out of this division because I think it will get harder."

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