Chris Hughton offers his final assessment of the season - looking ahead to our clash with Blackburn Rovers at the Lane on Sunday...
THERE IS NO doubt Mark Hughes has turned Blackburn's fortunes around since he arrived there as manager. He has changed the shape of the side and, in the modern way of thinking, his philosophy was to make them a harder side to beat. He has been able to do that.
He has done it by playing a bit of a different system, more of a 4-5-1 going into a 4-3-3 when they are attacking. It is a system that has served them well and certainly in the large majority of their games, even when they have lost, they have been very close affairs and they are tough side to beat.
Blackburn's approach has been commented on a lot recently but, for me, it is all part and parcel of the game. I think it has all been a bit flavour of the month as a talking point.
You are looking at competition among players and the physical aspects of the game - the ability to run and compete. I think that is all they've done, the system they play allows them to get tight to players. They are a competitive type of side with the quality to break from midfield and score goals.
We are going into our final game of the season, after which we always thank our fans for the support given over the course of the campaign. The fans have been excellent home and away.
You can't just expect supporters to turn up and give their all - you have got to give them something to cheer about. For big parts of the season I think we have done that and they have turned up, as always, and been a fantastic crowd.
The fact that we are playing almost every time in front of a capacity attendance speaks volumes for our supporters who are prepared to turn up week in, week out.