Chris Hughton

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Report: West Brom looks to snap up Hughton

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West Bromwich Albion is ready to turn to a promotion veteran in its bid to return to the Premier League.

Chris Hughton is in frame for the Hawthorns set, which controversially fired Darren Moore earlier this year with the club in fourth place. The Baggies bowed out of the Championship playoffs with a Tuesday loss to Aston Villa.

[ MORE: McKennie backs Pulisic for Chelsea ]

Brighton and Hove Albion fired Hughton on Monday, the day after the Seagulls completed the Premier League season in 17th place. They were 10th after 15 match days but won just three more matches in skidding into a relegation campaign.

Should Hughton get the job, he could have a very different set of players from the group which made the playoffs. From Sky Sports:

Whilst Albion have no debt and no need to sell, we have been told there was a verbal agreement with a number of players who were relegated from the Premier League last year, that if the team did not win promotion at the first attempt, they would be allowed to leave this summer, assuming a suitable bid was tabled.

Hughton also led the Seagulls to the FA Cup semifinals, two years after guiding the club into the Premier League via a second place finish in the Championship. He’s also guided Newcastle to promotion and helped Birmingham City to a fourth place finish in the second tier.

Brighton fires Chris Hughton after horrible second half

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Brighton Hove & Albion has sacked manager Chris Hughton, citing the incredibly poor run of form through the second half of the Premier League season.

Hughton had been in charge of Brighton for nearly five seasons, joining in late 2014 and leading the club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2017. However, the club finished 17th this season, escaping relegation by just two points. They were hovering around 11-13 for most of the first half of the season, but plummeted down the table with an extremely poor run-in that saw the club win just two league games in all of 2019 and endure two separate eight-match winless runs.

“Chris has done an excellent job over the past four and a half years. First stabilizing our club, reaching the play-offs in his first full season, securing our first ever promotion to the Premier League, and retaining our status in two successive seasons,” Brighton chairman Tony Bloom said in the statement confirming the decision. “Undoubtedly, this has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion, but ultimately one I have made due to how we struggled in the second half of the season.

Hughton was the fourth-longest tenured Premier League manager at the time of his release, behind Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, Burnley’s Sean Dyche, and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.

The club confirmed that assistant manager Paul Trollope and first-team coach Paul Nevin have also departed alongside Hughton.

“I would like to wish Chris, Paul and Paul – who have all worked extremely hard throughout their time here – every success for the future, and thank them on behalf of everyone at the club,” said Bloom in the statement. “They will always be welcome at the Amex, and will be remembered here with great affection.”

Premier League preview: Brighton v. Man City

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  • Man City has won 13 PL matches in a row, dating back to Jan 29
  • All 3 PL games between these clubs have finished in a 2-goal Man City win
  • Brighton has conceded just 2 goals over its last 3 PL matches

Win and you’re in. That’s how simple it is for Manchester City as they visit Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

City has been nearly unstoppable over the last three-plus months, holding off Liverpool in one of the more entertaining Premier League title races in recent memory. Should Pep Guardiola secure its 14th Premier League win in a row, City will defend its title and take the crown, while any points dropped would open the door for the Reds to make a stunning late move.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE HERE

It has been shaky of late, however, with three straight 1-0 results, including the narrow win over Leicester City last time out that required a Goal of the Season candidate from defender Vincent Kompany to keep his side in control of the league. Still, City has conceded just two goals over the last seven league matches, with Aymeric Laporte playing every minute of that stretch alongside either Kompany or John Stones.

Pep Guardiola could have Kevin De Bruyne at his disposal despite a hamstring injury that has sidelined him the last three matches. Fernandinho will miss out with a knee injury and is likely out for the FA Cup final as well, along with Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo.

Brighton sits safely in 17th, and the club has a ceiling of 16th should they win and Southampton lose. The Seagulls are completely healthy aside from Davy Propper and Jose Izquierdo, and will be up for a match that could potentially provide a famous finish to an otherwise barely acceptable season.

What they’re saying

Brighton manager Chris Hughton on motivation for the match: “The message to my players on Sunday will be about the respect for this division. It’s a home match for us which we want to win – it so happens there’s big meaning.”

Manchester City manager Guardiola on expectations for the game: “It is better to focus on what we have to do. If we win we don’t have to look at anything else. It’s a dream to be here, I didn’t expect it when we were seven points behind. We’ve shown many things. If we make back to back it would be nice but nothing is going to change too much – the fact is we have done incredibly well all season.”

Prediction

Guardiola has done a stellar job preparing this team for each game down the stretch, and Sunday will be no different. The attack has misfired slightly over the past month with Kevin de Bruyne on the sidelines, and they face a stout Brighton defense that has conceded more than one goal just twice in the last nine matches. Still, they are prone to implosions, such as a 5-0 loss to Bournemouth in mid-April, a 3-0 loss to Chelsea earlier that month, or a 4-2 loss to Fulham in late January. Manchester City will get a goal in the first half and cruise from there, ultimately winning 2-0 to secure its second straight Premier League crown, a stellar achievement.

Hughton says “very down” Brighton room needs Newcastle result

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Brighton and Hove Albion might not have expected to get a point from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday, but the manner in which they failed to do so could affect them deeply.

[ MORE: Match recap ]

The Seagulls are hoping to stay ahead of 18th place Cardiff City with just one relegation place still in the balance. They came close to making it four points clear with three matches to play but saw Christian Eriksen tear into a shot from outside the box to finally beat goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.

“The changing room at the moment is very down because of the manner of the defeat,” said manager Chris Hughton. “The players will know how hard they’ve worked to get as close as we did. We’re up against a team in the Champions League semi-finals. We put on a gritty defensive performance and that speaks volumes. We have to take that into Saturday against Newcastle and that becomes out biggest game.”

Brighton is home to the Magpies this weekend before visiting Arsenal and hosting a Man City side likely in play for the Premier League title. Cardiff goes to Fulham and hosts Crystal Palace before heading to Manchester United for its season finale.

Seemingly, Brighton needs something Saturday against Rafa Benitez‘s men.

“We’ll need goals and we need to win the game whichever way we can. Newcastle have been good away from home and have a good system. We have to get a result, whichever way we do it.”

Cardiff, Brighton now locked in race to avoid relegation

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Chris Hughton hasn’t been denying that Brighton and Hove Albion has been in a relegation battle, but Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to 18th place Cardiff City means the table tells the story plainly.

The Seagulls are up against it.

[ RECAP: Brighton 0-2 Cardiff City ]

“We have a fight on our hands,” Hughton said after the loss sunk the Seagulls to within two points of the drop zone, albeit with a match-in-hand on Cardiff.

“This is a proper fight. We have to make sure we turn it round by staying together, digging deep and making ourselves hard to beat.”

Cardiff had won just one match in seven coming into Tuesday, and sat in 18th since a Week 28 loss to Everton.

But six of its 31 points on the season have now come at the expense of Brighton, and Neil Warnock thinks his men have what it takes to pull off a great escape. From the BBC:

“We had a few pundits say it would be our final game in the Premier League but we are alive and kicking. We deserved tonight. … We came out of the traps and enjoyed it today. We are far from finished yet.”

Brighton plays two matches by April 23, while Cardiff just faces Liverpool. The final three matches for both teams will be staged on the same days of the calendar.

Here are the nine matches involving each team the rest of the way. Brighton has a 12-goal advantage on Cardiff in terms of differential:

Saturday: Wolves v. Brighton

Sunday: Cardiff City v. Liverpool

April 23: Tottenham v. Brighton

April 27: Brighton v. Newcastle -and- Fulham v. Cardiff

May 4: Arsenal v. Brighton -and- Cardiff v. Palace

May 12: Brighton v. Man City -and- Man Utd v. Cardiff

There are scenarios where relegation, the Premier League title, and a Top Four place will all be determined by goal differential for Brighton and Cardiff against the two Manchester powers on Decision Day.

In a year which saw so many setbacks and the horror of its record signing killed in a plane accident, how incredible would it be for Cardiff to come back from the brink?