Two days after an exhausted Brighton had lost to Sheffield Wednesday in last season’s play-off semi-final, the club announced that the manager, Jason Kidd Womens Jersey Chris Hughton, had signed a new four-year contract. In the afterglow of ostensible failure that sort of thing might have been regarded as inadvisable by some, but not Brighton. Hughton is part of a plan, one that has brought them to the Premier League. It has been a plan 20 years in the making. Year Zero for Brighton was 1997, when they eked out a draw on the final day of the season against Hereford to stay in the Football League. It was a point that saved them not just from relegation but quite possibly from oblivion, the club having been run into the ground and out of their old home. Over the next two decades the former chairman Dick Knight, followed by the current chairman and benefactor to the tune of nearly £250m Tony Bloom – boyhood fans both – first saved what was then a shell of a club, then oversaw its transition. That defeat by Sheffield Wednesday was Brighton’s third play-off semi-final defeat in four years, the difference now being that in the previous two it had been the respective managers’ final games in charge. Gus Poyet, having taken them from League One to the play-offs, was dismissed owing to an apparent breach of contract, then a year later his replacement, Oscar García, resigned. Hughton arrived at the end of 2014, after one of their few mis-steps, the appointment of Sami Hyypia, had been corrected reasonably swiftly, and set them back on the right path. When the players talk about Hughton, most refer to his calm authority, a steady head when pressure presents itself. It has become something of a cliche to say he is tougher than his nice guy reputation suggests but it nonetheless forms a big part of why he is successful and respected. “He never gets too high emotionally but gets his point across when we don’t do the job,” the midfielder Dale Stephens says. Hughton seems like the perfect manager for Brighton, one whose understated ambition and ability not to panic when others might, matches their own. After last season’s disappointment, when they led the division for a couple of months, recovered from a winter blip and faded at the last, Hughton and those above him nonetheless recognised they were on to a good thing, and patience was all that was required. Allen Iverson Authentic Jersey Given the strength of the teams relegated from the Premier League, that might have been regarded as a gamble but, if it was, then it has paid off handsomely. An already fine squad was added to judiciously, Shane Duffy arriving from Blackburn to form the division’s best central defensive partnership with Lewis Dunk, while Glenn Murray returned to add a few more goals up front. The summer’s biggest task was keeping hold of key talent: Stephens wanted to leave for Burnley but six bids were rejected while Newcastle made moves for the sparkling Anthony Knockaert.

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