Much like last season, a south coast club is pushing for top spot in the Championship.

The only reason I feel it is worth mentioning is because of the former Newcastle manager responsible for this situation.

Chris Hughton has done a great job at Brighton and I wish him all the best in his endeavours. The play-offs is usually the highest the Seagulls soar but they have still not been beaten in the league after eighteen matches.

As one of the few former managers at St James Park that I do not begrudge, seeing his team do well is proving to be a rather nice subplot to what is otherwise another miserable season.

In the event that Brighton continue their run and achieve promotion, the usual over ambition of a newly enriched club will probably see them dispense with humble Chris in the big leagues. At least he should be used to it by now.

The second tier seems to be his level for bringing clubs forward.

If Ashley had not sacked Chris Hughton to bring in a ‘big name’ like Pardew, I doubt if our recent history would be any different. Nevertheless, I would rather have him as coach than the obnoxious self-publicists that have been in the dug-out during the rest of the Ashley era.

Anyway, the man still has my respect and certainly did so when he was at Norwich or Birmingham.

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