As the final days of the Championship are played out, Chris Hughton has revealed that he’s had a number of conversations with Rafa Benitez.
The past and present Newcastle United bosses have talked when the two clubs have clashed this season, plus Chris Hughton has confirmed that he contacted Rafa after Newcastle secured promotion on Monday after a 4-1 win over Preston.
Speaking about his time on Tyneside, the Brighton boss says ‘You probably don’t want to have preferences….but I spent three years at Newcastle’.
Chris Hughton believes that any promoted club automatically ‘starts in that six or seven’ clubs who could potentially be relegated from the top division.
However, the one-time United boss says that when Newcastle ‘get it right, they are a big team in the Premier League as well’.
Hopefully we get it right sooner rather than later…
Chris Hughton talking to The Argus:
“If we are able to win on Saturday, then the confidence the players will have is that we are going up as champions and, yes…I think the confidence of finishing above Newcastle.
“You’d like to think the players could take that into next season. I feel that whatever teams go up from the Championship start at a decent level.
“There are always going to be a group of six or seven teams in the Premier League that can possibly go down. Any team that goes up starts in that six or seven.
“I spoke with Rafa Benitez a couple of days ago (after Newcastle’s promotion).
“He was the winning manager both times (when Newcastle played Brighton) but when we played them this season we had really good conversations afterwards. I’m really pleased for them as well.
“As a manager, you are in a competitive league all season. You meet all the managers afterwards.
“Everybody’s fighting the best way they can and you probably don’t want to have preferences…but I spent three years at Newcastle.
“So as a club I’m very fond of them and certainly in the Championship they are giants, with their stature and support at home.
“There are always the capabilities, when they get it right, that they are a big team in the Premier League as well.”