'Hughton proves nice guys don't always finish last'

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Brighton succumbed to defeat as Liverpool put in another impressive performance to warm up for their Champions League clash with Real Madrid in style.

15th May 2018

Has this season been a success?

It’s an unquestionable yes!  There is massive chasm in quality experienced when moving up from the Championship to the Premier League.

Albion started the season with a number of new signings, many of which were unknowns to most in England, and without the striker reinforcements it was believed we needed.

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Making a stuttering start to the season only reinforced the need for some extra quality up front, but the transfer window reached a frantic conclusion with no additions brought in to help out Glenn Murray and Tomer Hemed.

Albion started to find their top-flight feet, and also the back of opposing teams’ nets, and soon began to look anything like the Premier League makeweights that the pre-season betting market suggested.

Chris Hughton hauled his side away from the drop zone and, bar a few nervous glances now and again, Albion never really looked like being in the end of season dogfight, which represents a remarkable situation for a newly-promoted side playing in the Premier League for the very first time.

Are you happy with your manager?

No one in and around football seems to have a bad word to say about Hughton. He does truly seem to be one of the nicest blokes in what, at times, is a cut-throat industry. “Nice guys finish last” is an old saying, but Hughton shows that is not always the case.

Norwich fans told us that he would be found out again at Premier League level as he would set us up too defensively, and we would be picked off by the attacking might we would face each week.

Plain and simply, they were wrong. Whilst it’s true we didn’t take an expansive game with us on the road this season, we always looked to attack at the Amex and make home advantage count.

Only the established top six and Everton had a better home record this season, which is testament to how Hughton set us up to win at home.

So, in short, yes again. Hughton won’t have to buy himself a drink if he heads out into the pubs of Brighton for a very long time to come!

READ MORE: Premier League out of contract XI - bargains to be had!

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What should be the club's priority in the transfer market this summer?

Pace. The Premier League often moves at frightening pace, but we don’t have too much of that. Jose Izquierdo is a speed machine but there’s not many amongst the Albion’s ranks who can keep up with him.

Maybe Jurgen Locadia will help out in that regard - we’ve seen too little of him to be able to say - but, regardless, we need some more. Beyond that, I would also expect Hughton to be looking to strengthen on both sides of defence. 

The other priority is keeping hold of what we’ve got. Lewis Dunk has been one of the standout defenders of the entire Premier League this season and is sure to have his suitors. Every player has a price but his must be well beyond £30 million now, which is an eye-watering sum for our club like ours.

What do you want to aim for next season?

17th place will, once again, be our aim. A second season in the Premier League could prove to be more difficult than the first as other sides will know what to expect from us, and may have a better idea about how to counter it.

In truth, next season may struggle to top this one. For us, the Premier League has been all sparkly and new with much to intrigue and delight us. 

Next year could see us more involved in a season-long grind to escape the trap door that takes clubs back to the Championship.

Regardless of what may happen - bring it on!

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