Chris Hughton saw his team once again step above Newcastle United and go top of the Championship on Saturday night.

The weekend also saw the Seagulls reassume the title of tightest defence in the second tier, a clean sheet meaning they have conceded 26 goals compared to Newcastle’s 27.

It is now over four and a half hours (including injury time) since Brighton leaked a goal with the clean sheets against Reading and Barnsley following a surprise 1-1 draw at home to Ipswich, when the visitors scored in the ninth minute.

However, left-back Sebastien Pocognoli was taken off in the later stages of the 3-0 win over Reading on Saturday, leading to doubts about his participation against Newcastle.

The Belgian international is on loan from West Brom and Chris Hughton was desperate to keep his impressive back four together, the Brighton Manager now having confirmed on Monday that he took the player off to protect against a slight groin problem he has got, but that after checking on the left-back today he can definitely play on Tuesday night.

Chris Hughton:

“He (Pocognoli) is okay but we felt that would be the case fairly quickly after the (Reading) game.

“He had a slight problem at Barnsley and  it was a bit more of a precaution, taking him off towards the end of the (Reading) game, but Seb’s fine (for Newcastle) which is good.”

Also showing the strength of his squad, Hughton revealed that midfielder Oliver Norwood had been left put of recent squads because his first child had just been born, then after missing two matches the manager then felt thee wasn’t even a place on the bench for Norwood when facing Reading on Saturday.

Chris Hughton:

“It is Oliver Norwood’s first child and we’re all delighted for him, that was why initially (missing Ipswich & Barnsley), then he was very much available for the last game (against Reading) but we were on the back of a very good performance at Barnsley and my choice was not to change things.”