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Quiet man Chris Hughton now a big noise

WINNER: Hughton at the recent Football Black List event

CHRIS HUGHTON has confirmed his status as one of the country’s finest coaches by guiding Brighton to the Promised Land that is the Premier League.

After a highly consistent season, the Seagulls’ place amongst England’s elite was confirmed over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Hughton, who saw his South Coast outfit, just miss out on the top flight last term, can now plot and plan for visits to Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane, Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium. Brighton are now in for a bumper payday, with promotion to the Premier League worth an estimated £170m.

The affable Hughton told the Voice of Sport at the start of January: “We’ve also got good experience in the side. It is not a young side and there is no doubt that the disappointment of last season hit the team in the right places.

“What it did do is make the team want more of that (being at the top of the table) this season. On the football side we have the hardest thing to do, and that’s to get into the Premier League. We’ll certainly try our best to do that.” Hughton, who has Ghanaian heritage, has been true to his word.

Despite the pressures of the job and the microscope that football fraternity is constantly under, Hughton is still very much in love with the game.

BACK IN THE BIG TIME: The Brighton boss has led his team into the Premier League

He confessed: “It’s a very emotional job. There are so many highs and lows, it’s a rollercoaster really. Your mood can change from one game to the next. But the reason that I do it is that I still enjoy it.

“You enjoy it more when things are going well. Fortunately for me since I’ve been here I’ve enjoyed it because things have gone quite well.”

Newly promoted Brighton are in good hands underone of the fe black managers in Englush football. Hughton, who has won 63 of his 123 games in charge on the south coast, has managed in the top flight with Newcastle and Norwich.

Hughton, a recent Football Black List award recipient for his contribution to the game, has been backed by club chairman Anthony Bloom.

“There is no doubt about the club and the facilities; it is a Premier League set up. It’s a set up that some teams in the Premier League would be delighted with in terms of the training ground and stadium and we have the chairman to thank for that.”

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