Steve McClaren's men are up to fourth in the Barclays Premiership on the back of a run of seven unbeaten league games, including last week's win against Liverpool.
But most impressive of late has been their away form with a draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford and wins on the road at Middlesbrough, Charlton and West Brom.
Coach Chris said: "I went to watch them against Charlton. I'm sure they will line-up 4-4-2 but if I look at how they play, Downing is the one on the left-hand side who will get wide and get crosses in, Parlour down the right will tuck in a bit more. Downing is the real outlet.
"They have quality front players in Hasselbaink and Viduka. Everyone knows that Viduka's strength is playing across the width of the 18-yard box, anything into his feet sticks and he's physically strong as well, good quality.
"Hasselbaink plays how he always plays and you know he can shoot from outside the box and has a fabulous shot on him. If he sees a chance to pull the trigger, he will.
"Southgate is a real leader for them and if I look in the era we're in now, people say there is not enough of that type of player but he's one of them, an inspirational captain for sure.
"Also Riggott at the back had an up and down period but he was taken there because he was regarded as a very promising young player and he's started to show that now.
"They've bought well over a period of time, even when Bryan Robson was there they spent money and the progression has started from his time in charge.
"What they've done it brought through a couple of boys from the Academy in McMahon and Downing and Downing's the one who has caught the eye this season. They've mixed that with the experience of Hasselbaink, Viduka, Parlour and Zenden, Boateng's been there for a while. They have the right blend."
Chris Hughton takes his regular look at our forthcoming opponents - next up, Middlesbrough at the Lane on Sunday.