Are Brighton the side the Championship need to watch out for?

Anthony Knockaert of Brighton and Hove Albion celebrates after scoring their first goal

They missed out on promotion to the Premier League last season but can the Seagulls go one better this term despite the likes of Newcastle, Villa and Norwich?

With the majority of the promotion talk surrounding the high-profile relegated trio of clubs, can Chris Hughton's Brighton be an outside shot?

Hughton took over the South Coast side at the back end of the 2014-15 season and guided the club away from a relegation battle.

However the strides made the next campaign suggests the former Newcastle United and Birmingham City manager can guide them to Premier League. 

Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris HughtonBrighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton

The last time Brighton were in the top flight was in the 1982-83 season when they were relegated after one season, but many are hopeful that Hughton is the right man to guide the club to the Premier League.

Brighton's third-placed finish last term prompted Hughton to be named Championship manager of the year by the League Managers' Association on at the end of season award, and Brighton owner Tony Bloom rewarded the Brighton manager with a new four-year contract after their defeat in the play-off semi-final

After surprising the division last year, many tipped key players such as Anthony Knockaert, Lewis Dunk, Dale Stephens and Beram Kayal to leave.

Despite the likes of Knockaert, Dunk and Stephens being linked with moves away to clubs such as relegated Newcastle United and promoted Burnley, it is testament to Brighton that they have been able to keep them at the club thus far.

With the signing of former player and goalscorer Glenn Murray they certainly have added some firepower to help Tomer Hemed, who was Albion's top scorer last term with 18 goals in 43 games.

Glenn Murray of Brighton and Hove Albion celebrates after scoring their second goalGlenn Murray of Brighton and Hove Albion celebrates after scoring their second goal

The side have started the new campaign very well, gaining seven points from a possible nine. Many expected a hangover after last season's disappointment but they have been able to hit the ground running.

A key element in their pursuit of promotion could be the fact they know the league and understand Hughton's philosophy, so they're is no need to allow the Seagulls time to bed in. They have kept the cohesion at the club which was so crucial to them reaching the heights they did last season while many of their rivals have undergone big changes on and off the field. 

With the likes of Aston Villa, Norwich City, Newcastle and Sheffield Wednesday all vowing for the same objectives, could Brighton be the side to watch out for this season?

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