Our reserve team boss wouldn’t be drawn on whether or not this was the best group of young players at this level that he has known.
But with Gary Doherty the latest star to emerge from his group of players — following the likes of Ledley King and Alton Thelwell into the Premiership limelight this season — it is hard to argue, whether or not it has been somewhat forced, that the club’s policy of promoting youth isn’t working.
Chris said: "This is the most amount of players we’ve had that are on the fringes of the first team.
"If you look at the likes of Doherty, Thelwell, King and people like Davies, Etherington, Toner — they’ve all had an involvement.
"That has been down the injuries we’ve had and the fact that we haven’t the biggest squad but for whatever reason it has been a wonderful benefit for those lads.
"But they still have to be able to grasp their chance and see something at the end and that’s what they’ve done.
"It applies pressure because that young player knows he has to do well and continue to do well in the reserves to sustain his place.
"But I’m absolutely delighted with how the lads have done.
"Sometimes they are in by default, sometimes injury, sometimes by their own endeavours.
"The most important thing is that reserve team players here can see light at the end of the tunnel and the fortunate thing for us is that the players who have gone through have done very well.
"Young Alton Thelwell is a prime example. He was in for some eight games and if he looks at the calibre of forward he played against in those games it has been a wonderful experience for him and of course for us, as a club, we know if the opportunity arises for the lad to play we wouldn’t think twice about it."
Chris Hughton is relishing the task of nurturing a wealth of young talent at the Lane.