Chris Hughton surprised by Brighton's strong start to season

Brighton Manager Chris Hughton looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Brighton
Image: Brighton have enjoyed a good start to the season under Chris Hughton

Chris Hughton admits Brighton have made a better start to the Championship season than he could have expected.

The Seagulls sit top of the table with four wins from five matches, including a 3-2 victory over Ipswich in their most recent outing.

It marks an impressive turnaround for the south coast club, who finished 20th last season, just two places above the relegation zone.

"We were hopeful of a good start but it's been a very good start and better than what we expected," Seagulls manager Hughton told the FL72 Podcast.

"We had a good pre-season and part of the reason for the good start is that we didn't have any injuries in the pre-season period so we were able to work with the team. There was also a slow introduction with the players we brought in."

Tommer Hemed has arguably been the most influential summer signing for the Seagulls so far, with three goals scored in his five league matches.

He will be looking to add to his tally this Saturday when Brighton host second-placed Hull in a top-of-the-table clash at the Amex.

Also See:

Tomer Hemed of Brighton celebrates
Image: Tomer Hemed (L) celebrates scoring against Ipswich.

"We were aware of him for some time and we felt he would be a good all-round player," said Hughton, who was named Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for August.

"We didn't think he would be just a goalscorer and get 20 goals a season, our initial thoughts were he could be a good all-rounder as he has good qualities and he has been in good form.

"He has a really good aptitude for the game and hopefully the goals will continue to come."

Also on three goals for the season is the Championship Player of the Month for August, Kazenga LuaLua.

"He is a lad of undoubted ability, but sometimes with that type of creative player it's trying to get the level of consistency," said Hughton.

"He started the season very well and has probably played more consecutive 90 minutes than before - that's the challenge for him. We know he will have a dip at some stage, that's natural, but at the moment he's in good form and the challenge for him is to sustain that consistency."

Listen to the FL72 Podcast HERE, featuring interviews with Hughton, Neil McDonald, Mathieu Baudry and Ian Holloway.

Around Sky