Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Brighton now aim for Championship title as they are promoted to the top league for first time in more than 30 years

Goals in each half from leading marksman Glenn Murray and winger Solly March secured a 2-1 home win over Wigan and, when Huddersfield later conceded an 88th-minute equaliser at Derby, it guaranteed Brighton's place in the top flight for only the second time in their 116-year existence.

The Seagulls can win the title with a sixth straight win at Norwich on Friday.

Hughton told Sky Sports News: "It's a massive motivation for this group of lads.

"One thing we spoke about afterwards is it's a wonderful achievement, particularly after last season, to get promotion. That's the first thing.

"But what these lads want to do - whenever it is, two years' time, three years, 10, 20 years' time - is they want to be able to say they won the division and went up as champions.

"That will add something to all of their CVs, all of their thoughts when they're looking back. We've put ourselves in a good position to attempt to do it."

Brighton and Hove Albion's Anthony Knockaert (left) and Oliver Norwood are escorted from the pitch as they are mobbed by fans celebrating promotion Credit: PA photo

Albion missed out on automatic promotion on goal difference on the final afternoon of last term, but that is now a distant memory for Hughton and his men.

"I don't necessarily think that was the motivation behind what we've been able to achieve this season," he said.

"I think the motivation was that they thoroughly enjoyed being at the top end of the table last season, all season.

"It's a feeling they wanted again. We recruited really well - not many, but we recruited really well. It made us better - a little bit more know-how in our performances. Definitely better away from home."

He added: "(Promotion) is something we feel we deserved. I think we've been great value this season. We've had a wonderful support, we've managed to win games in different ways. Our away form has improved from last year and probably that's the key to the success we've had this season.

"It's a nice feeling but now, of course, what I don't want is for these last three games to go out with a little bit of a whimper. We must have designs on winning this league because I think that will certainly cement in our players' minds something really, really worthwhile."

Hughton said he had not been glued to the television for Huddersfield's match at Derby, but appreciated a late goal going in his side's favour.

"It was on in the background," the Brighton boss said.

"I've watched too many games this season where the results are going our way and somebody scores in the last minute and it all changes. Fortunately for us, somebody scored in the last five minutes that went our way."

Brighton and Hove Albion players and fans celebrate promotion Credit: PA photo

More on this story