Chris Hughton’s long and illustrious career at the Club started when he joined us as a 13-year-old schoolboy in 1972, and he would rise through the ranks as a trainee. He eventually broke into the first team in the 1979-80 season and never looked back, going on to make 398 appearances and becoming one of the club’s most decorated players.
“He is a legend for the club, for the fans, for everyone,” said Mauricio. “He is a great manager, a great guy and a very friendly person. From the first day that we met, I have always had a very good relationship with him. I admire him and wish him all the best but, of course, we are going to compete and we are going to try to win.”
Below: Chris captaining the team in 1989
Chris won back-to-back FA Cups in 1981 and 1982 and starred in one of White Hart Lane’s glory nights as we overcame Anderlecht 4-3 on penalties to win the 1984 UEFA Cup final. Success has followed him into management too with the Seagulls being the second club he has led to promotion to the Premier League.
“Chris is doing a fantastic job and is a great manager and Brighton are having a fantastic season,” said Mauricio. “It is not easy to be promoted and then to fight and to stay in the Premier League but they are doing a fantastic job. It will be a very tough game.”
Brighton have only tasted defeat four times at home in the Premier League this season and sit 13th in the table.
“They were fantastic every time they faced a big team - they were capable of beating Arsenal,” added Mauricio. “We need the points to keep the gap with Chelsea to try to be sure to be in the Champions League next season but at the same time we are going to find a very aggressive team that play to survive.”