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Brighton sack manager Hughton after 17th-place finish

Brighton won just two Premier League games in the second half of the season. Credit: PA

Brighton have sacked manager Chris Hughton following the club's poor run of form in 2019.

Albion scraped Premier League survival by two points following just two wins from 18 top-flight matches since the turn of the year.

Seagulls chairman Tony Bloom told the club website: "Undoubtedly, this has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion, but ultimately one I have made due to how we struggled in the second half of the season.

"Our run of three wins from 23 Premier League matches put our status at significant risk. It is with that in mind, and the performances during that period, that I now feel it's the right time for a change."

Hughton took over at Brighton in December 2014, taking them to the Premier League in the summer of 2017.

"Chris will always be very fondly remembered by Albion staff and fans as one of our club's finest and most-respected managers," Bloom added.


Brighton's Hughton urges tougher punishments to deter racist abuse

Brighton boss Chris Hughton has called on the authorities to hand out the sternest possible sanctions to in a bid to clamp down on racist abuse. Credit: PA

Brighton boss Chris Hughton has called on the authorities to hand out the sternest possible sanctions to in a bid to clamp down on racist abuse.

A number of England players - including Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi - were subject to racist chanting during England's 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Montenegro on Monday night.

The Football Association described the incidents in Podgorica as "abhorrent", while governing body UEFA subsequently opened proceedings against Montenegro, including a charge of racist behaviour.

England boss Gareth Southgate has underlined the need for education to try to tackle the issues head on.

Hughton, one of the few BAME coaches in high-profile management jobs, praised the approach of the England squad and staff for how they handled the situation, but feels a clear message must be sent from the governing bodies.

"The abuse that the players got wasn't a surprise. It has happened before. I think people were talking about the possibility of it even before the game," Hughton said in The Argus.

"When it happened it wasn't that big a surprise to me. The surprise you want now is for the correct authorities to clamp down on it properly, not give out easy fines.

"The only way you can really punish the perpetrators for me are by very heavy fines or make them play in empty stadiums.

"It has to be something that is a deterrent and that hasn't been happening."


Brighton's Hughton wary of Liverpool thrashing

Liverpool hammered Brighton 5-1 back in December. Credit: PA

Chris Hughton admits the excitement of Brighton's first league game at Anfield in 36 years is tempered by the threat of suffering another thrashing.

Albion were hammered 5-1 at home by free-scoring Liverpool in early December and also suffered a 6-1 FA Cup defeat on Merseyside in 2012.

Seagulls manager Hughton, whose 14th-placed side are free from pressure having already secured their Premier League status, wants his players to relish Sunday's trip north but is wary of the dangers posed by Jurgen Klopp's Reds.

"I expect the Liverpool we've seen all season with the fantastic attacking threat that they have. It will be a hard day for us and we'll have to defend very well as a team," said Hughton.

"These challenges are ones we've worked very hard for - this game means something to us despite us being safe.

"Away games at the likes of Liverpool are quite daunting because you know what can happen if you get it wrong, but more so they are also very exciting to be involved in and challenging because we know we will have to be at a good level to get something.

"We'll have a group of players who haven't played at Anfield before and these are the ones you look forward to as a team."

Brighton's last top-flight visit to Liverpool ended in a 3-1 defeat in October 1982, although they unexpectedly won an FA Cup fifth-round tie at Anfield three months later.

While the Seagulls have little to play for this weekend, the hosts require a point to guarantee a top-four finish ahead of Chelsea.

Hughton signs new four-year contract with Brighton

Brighton manager Chris Hughton has signed a new four-year contract just days after the club missed out on promotion to the Barclays Premier League.

Hughton has committed his future to Brighton. Credit: PA

A draw at Middlesbrough on the final day of the regular league season saw Brighton condemned to third place in the Sky Bet Championship, when automatic promotion was tantalisingly close.

A painful play-off semi-final defeat followed at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday, meaning Brighton must try again next season to earn a place in the top flight.

And the ambitious Seagulls board members trust Hughton to lead the challenge, handing him a new deal that runs until 2020.

Brighton chairman Tony Bloom told the club's official website: "Chris thoroughly deserves this new contract after such an outstanding season.

"There is no doubt he is one of the best and most skilful managers in the country and we are delighted to be going into next season with Chris at the helm and leading our club, as we aim to go one step further and realise our ultimate aim of reaching the Premier League."