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No grudges for Chris Hughton over Norwich City reunion

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:19 21 April 2017

Chris Hughton has led Brighton to Championship promotion. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton has led Brighton to Championship promotion. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Chris Hughton bears no ill will towards Norwich City ahead of his first competitive Carrow Road return with newly-promoted Brighton.

Hughton was dismissed by the Canaries in 2014 during a season which culminated in Premier League relegation, but the Seagulls can lift the Championship title tonight if they beat his old club.

“You work with a lot of people at a club and have a lot of friends and it’s nice to go back in the position we’re in,” he said. “Whether it was Norwich we were playing or Bristol City wouldn’t have any effect on me. Ultimately, people make decisions and I don’t think they are personal, they are just decisions that people think they have to make at a given time. I’m in the decision-making business and I have to make them day in, day out. So the best way is to just get on with it and not to look back.

“We had a wonderful result against Norwich earlier in the season and I can honestly say it didn’t matter to me that it was Norwich, it was just a very good performance. Norwich is a team that we would have expected to have been in the top six, and only because of their history and the last few seasons, having been in the Premier League. But it’s a very difficult division and wherever we were going, it’s a game that I would want to win and one that I’d want to win as quick as possible.”

Hughton wants no let up until Brighton have been crowned champions.

“It’s the very next, most important thing now (winning the league),” he said. “We’ve achieved what we want to achieve, and of course that has been by far the biggest thing that we wanted to achieve this season. But we’re in the business of competition, and competition means winning as many games as you can, and the next big challenge has got to be winning it now.

“There will be a better feel for this group of players, now and in the future, if we’re able to go up as champions. Even with the form of Newcastle of late, it’s just a strong testament to this division and how difficult it is.

“Norwich won away from home in their last game, so they’re probably setting themselves up for trying to finish the season as strong as they can, and we’ve got to be very conscious of that.”

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