• Albion showing signs of growth as Premier League season enters crucial stage

    If the Premier League season so far is anything to go by, Albion seem to be charting a course for survival once again and achieving the club's primary aim of securing another season of stability in England’s top flight. However, there’s a long, long way to go and in a season full of ups and downs, there is always an opportunity for the positive showing to date coming undone.

    Chris Hughton has worked wonders at the club and has brought everyone associated with the Seagulls together, alongside the club’s hierarchy. Conducting himself admirably on the club’s behalf, the former Newcastle United manager goes about his business in an understated manner, making him one of the most respected men in the game. It's hard to see that chairman Tony Bloom would not allow Hughton to retain his job as manager even if the worst did happen come the end of the season. Hughton is a Brighton man now.

    The Summer saw the club strengthen considerably under Hughton for the second consecutive Summer, Survival from relegation is remains the ultimate aim for the Seagulls, but there’s no reason why Hughton can’t take the club up another level also.

    Ambition is being shown by the club’s board, who made some impressive additions in the summer window. Yves Bissouma, Florin Andone, former Barcelona defender Martin Montoya and Alireza Jahanbakhsh were the standout summer signings which cost the club a fair amount of money as the club looked to give Chris Hughton greater strength in depth with competition for places in all positions.

    The classic ‘second season syndrome’ is a worry for most club's and the Albion are no exception. With this being Albion’s second season in the Premier League, the determination not to fall foul of the classic label is there not just from Chris Hughton, but also his players.

    The Premier League is shaping up to be as tough as ever this season with newly promoted sides Wolves, who have impressed with their brand of football, and Fulham, who will be looking to be improve after appointing former Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri as their manager, having flexed their financial muscles in the summer. Throw in the likes of Pellegrini’s improving Hammers, Newcastle with Rafa Benitez operating under difficult circumstances and the likes of Huddersfield, who have ground out a few important results in recent weeks, and the league is shaping up as a tough one for many clubs.

    As for Albion, it’s vital we maintain our solid start to the season and then look to further strengthen in January as Hughton continues to take the club to new heights. Should the Seagulls add one or two more bodies in the New Year, then odds on them staying up at 1/33 look an almost certainty. A top half finish, which would feel like winning the league for the Seagulls, is currently rated at 3/1 (bet365) and could easily materialise.

    An FA Cup run wouldn’t go amiss either, although winning it is a tall order for any side outside of the top six these days. Odds on the Seagulls lifting the prestigious cup competition are priced at 66/1, with the option of free bets making it an even more appealing punt.

    As a vital few months in Brighton’s quest for Premier League stability approach, Chris Hughton will be undoubtedly keen to keep his players’ eyes firmly on the prize. Once survival is secured, who knows where Hughton could then take the club. One thing is for sure though, in Chris Hughton the Seagulls have a manager who won’t take his eye off the ball and his squad now possesses an additional sprinkling of quality perhaps lacking in the first Premier League campaign.

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