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Brighton boss states experience is key to promotion push

This season has seen a remarkable change in fortune for Premier League hopefuls Brighton & Hove Albion.

Manager Chris Hughton has claimed that Brighton & Hove Albion's experienced players have played a key role in their climb to second in the table.

The ex-Newcastle boss brought in the likes of Bobby Zamora and Liam Rosenior over the summer, and their Championship know-how has been fundamental to the Seagulls' progress.

Talking to Sky Sports about the influence the more mature players have had on his team, Hughton said:

"I think it's been pivotal for us this season and that's the reason why we started well. We brought some of that experience on early in the pre-season which I felt helped us settle everybody down and give us a little bit more of a focal point and they've been important for us all season."

He also spoke of how good it feels to be in their current position:

"It's a wonderful position to be in. I look at where we were at this stage last season, it's very, very different."

Hughton's side are preparing to host league leaders Burnley on Saturday, where a win would see them move to within a point of the Clarets.

He commented on how he is relishing the game at the weekend, but refused to appear over-confident, citing their opponents impressive away record:

"These are the type of games, these are the type of challenges that you really want to be involved in. Burnley are a fabulous side, they have a system that they know very, very well, they've got goalscorers and, in particular, Andre Gray who has been outstanding. They just do what they do very well, home or away."

The reverse fixture in November ended in a 1-1 draw and Hughton talked up the importance of Saturday's game:

"The game on Saturday is a big game because of where we are in the division and certainly at the start of the season our supporters wouldn't have seen this so anything can happen. It's a big one because it means it's points they don't get."

The former Tottenham Hotspur man has been a revelation since taking charge of the Seagulls in December 2014.

He helped steer his team clear of relegation in his first season and has overseen their incredible improvement this term. 

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