Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

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Mark Hughes talks up Chris Hughton ahead of Stoke trip to Brighton

Mark Hughes believes Brighton counterpart Chris Hughton does not get the credit he deserves for his managerial career.

After spells with Newcastle, Birmingham and Norwich, Hughton has made history on the south coast, guiding Brighton into the Premier League for the first time.

And the Seagulls have made an excellent start to life in the top flight, sitting eighth with 15 points ahead of the weekend's fixtures.

That is six places and three points more than Stoke, who will aim to become only the second team this season to take three points away from the Amex Stadium when they visit on Monday.

Hughes' assistant Mark Bowen voiced surprise this week that Hughton has not been linked with the vacant managerial post at Everton.

And the Stoke boss said: "Sometimes familiarity breeds a little bit of contempt and sometimes when you've been around for a long time people don't appreciate what you bring to the table in terms of experience and knowledge and understanding what's required at this level.

"Chris is one of those that has had a great career, he's had success, promotions and been at good clubs and predominantly been a success at those clubs so I don't think anybody should underestimate what he's been able to do as a manager, and credit to him."

Brighton have proved a particularly hard nut to crack defensively, conceding just 11 goals in as many games, half as many as Stoke.

Hughes' job appeared under real threat after a 7-2 defeat by Manchester City was followed by a home loss to Bournemouth but victory at Watford and a draw with Leicester have steadied the ship.

Now the Welshman is targeting a positive result at Brighton to continue Stoke's climb away from danger.

He said of the Seagulls: "They've done really well. They've got a set way of playing, I think they've got players within their group that can affect you adversely so we've got to be mindful of that.

"But we've had a good performance the last couple of games and obviously our last away performance was very good so we're looking to see if we can replicate that level again. If we can do that then I think we'll push them very hard."

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