Chris Hughton: Former Newcastle, Brighton manager 'open' to a move abroad

Hughton is ready to return to the game after over a year away; The former Premier League coach also feels "enthusiastic" that Black Lives Matter can bring about change

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Former Brighton manager Chris Hughton says he is ready to return to football and believes the Black Lives Matter movement is bringing change to the game.

Chris Hughton is itching to get back into management and would consider working abroad in order to re-ignite his coaching career.

Hughton has been out of work since he was sacked by Brighton in May 2019 and has spent the last 15 months waiting for the right opportunity to return to football, having turned down five job offers from clubs in the Championship in that time.

The experienced 61-year-old coach, who has guided the Seagulls as well as Newcastle to promotion to the Premier League, has most recently been linked with previously vacant managerial roles at Birmingham and Bristol City.

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In the first of our Making a Manager interviews, Chris Hughton speaks about his experience of being one of the few BAME managers in English football.

Hughton held talks with City and was interested in becoming the new manager at Ashton Gate following the sacking of Lee Johnson at the end of last season, but the club eventually chose to appoint Johnson's assistant Dean Holden on a full-time basis after he enjoyed five games as caretaker boss.

Hughton told Sky Sports News: "There's a percentage [of my time out of the game] that I've enjoyed. Particularly up until the lockdown, I watched a lot of games.

"I always keep busy it gives you an opportunity to go through your coaching methods, your files, to see how other managers are working and re-educate yourself.

"But that's to a point. I've been ready to get back in for some time now, I'm hoping that opportunity comes as soon as possible.

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"I must admit in a difficult period with this lockdown with games behind closed doors I've enjoyed it, particularly the European games. To a degree we've got used to it. But I'm really itching to get back in."

After over a year away from football, Hughton admits he is much more open about choosing which club to continue his managerial career with, and has not ruled out a move overseas.

He added: "There are some wonderful jobs that are perhaps a little bit more challenging, exciting opportunities to bring a club up or keep a club in the division.

"I am far more open now over the last six months I'm really looking for that opportunity to get back in, and I'm really looking forward to that challenge.

"Could that be abroad? I would be open to the right challenge, but it would have to be the right one if it was abroad, but predominantly I have managed here at a good level and it's here where I would like to stay."

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We strive to do more, to say more. We are against racism and racial injustice in all forms. #BlackLivesMatter

'BLM makes me enthusiastic about the future'

The Black Lives Matter movement has been brought into sharp focus during football's return across the world, following the killing of the unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, and the subsequent protests that have ensued.

In the UK's professional leagues, players have taken a knee in support of the anti-racism campaign, while multiple former and current players and coaches, including Raheem Sterling, Troy Deeney, Sol Campbell and Danny Rose, have spoken out on racism and shared their own experiences about racial injustices.

In June, the Premier League, PFA and EFL launched a new scheme aimed at increasing the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) players transitioning into full-time coaching roles in the professional game.

Hughton, one of English football's most successful black managers, has previously told Sky Sports that 'a generation' of talented players have missed out on a coaching career because of racism prevalent in the game.

Despite acknowledging that there is a long way to go in terms of achieving greater equality in sport and in society, Hughton remarked that he has been pleased by the initiative's impact over the past few months.

"I have seen this before. For those of us that have been in the game for some time, we've been through that, but I think not like now.

"I look at the enthusiasm that I'm seeing from this campaign, not from black players and black individuals in the game but I think the majority.

"I'm really enthusiastic about the future. But that enthusiasm from everybody has to end up in change, and I think it will."

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