Brighton finally lost a game – at Preston on Saturday – and Chris admitted that the home side were the better team on the day and deserved their 2-0 win.
But Brighton missed a penalty and with a bit of luck could have still got something out of the game.
But they didn’t and that allowed Newcastle to reclaim top place in the Championship albeit that Brighton have a game in hand on us.
And Chris has come out today and said it is not a two horse race with Brighton and Newcastle the automatic promotion favorites.
Rafa Benitez and Chris Hughton at St. James’ Park in August
There have been some close and very good games in the Championship lately and Chris has pointed this out as he sends a message to his players.
A number of teams like Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County are coming into form at just the right time.
This is what Chris – one of the most under-rated managers in the game – has said as reported in the Chronicle today:
“I never have thought that because of the quality of teams in this division. We watched two fabulous games Reading v QPR and Leeds v Derby and the strength of Norwich and Aston Villa.”
“And the teams that are really performing well like Leeds, Reading, Huddersfield.”
“There are too many good teams to think it’s going to be just between two clubs.”
“I think there will be lots of twists and turns for the rest of the season. We need to make sure we get back to what we do best and to get back to winning ways.”
“We’ve got to hope in the long run it doesn’t do us any harm, brings us back to basics.”
“For anyone that was getting carried away, it brings us back down to earth and we’ll need to be better next game.”
“We’ve got very tough opposition, albeit at home, and we’ll need to be better.”
With Brighton one of the hot favorites along with Newcastle for promotion, Chris doesn’t want his players to get over confident or complacent by thinking they will (easily) get promoted,
We’ve seen some complacency at Newcastle over the last several weeks although the gutsy and ugly 2-1 win at Brentford on Saturday showed the lads are willing to fight tooth and nail for the cause.
It’s a tough league alright – and while it’s not the best in the world – it’s probably the toughest league to play in with the games coming thick and fast and it’s all very competitive.
Here’s the current top six in the Championship at the moment.