Hughton rubbishes claims that last season’s heartbreak will have an effect in promotion race

Chris Hughton. Photograph: Paul Hazlewood SUS-160114-154217001
Chris Hughton. Photograph: Paul Hazlewood SUS-160114-154217001

Chris Hughton has rubbished claims that last season’s play-off heartbreak and missing out on automatic promotion to the Premier League will have an effect on his side this term.

Brighton & Hove Albion have suffered back-to-back defeats as their promotion push took a hit, first against Newcastle United and then in a shock defeat at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Nevertheless, the Seagulls remain second in the table, occupying an automatic promotion place and six points clear of third-placed Huddersfield Town.

They trail Championship leaders Newcastle by five points, but Huddersfield do have a game in hand on them.

The manner of Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Forest has brought murmurings from some sections of Albion fans that they could be in for a repeat of last season’s disastrous climax.

That saw Albion end up two-goals shy of automatic promotion and then suffer a play-off semi-final defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

But Hughton has moved quickly to quash any thoughts of that having an effect on his side.

The Albion boss said: “Nothing is guaranteed and from where we are at the moment it is not guaranteed we will finish in the top two, but I don’t think from what happened last season it will have any effect on where we go from now.

“Where we go from now is that if we are good enough to get results and show what we have been showing for the bulk of the season, if we are able to turn it around.

“Generally when we have had a bad result we have been able to turn it around and go on a good run. If we are able to do that then we are back in it again. I don’t think last season will have any effect on it.”