Chris Hughton’s Seagulls soar

It may still be very early days but the Championship table will make very pleasant reading for Chris Hughton this morning. 

Chris Hughton’s Seagulls soar

Having won 2-1 at Fulham on Saturday, Hughton’s Brighton lead the way as the only side with a 100% winning record.

Can they stay there? Last season would suggest not, as Brighton finished just two places clear of relegation. Given that they were just a point clear of relegation when Hughton was appointed manager on New Year’s Eve it was a case of mission accomplished for the former Ireland international, but to go from that to promotion challengers would seem a tall order.

However, in Hughton they have a manager with real pedigree at this level. It was he who guided Newcastle back to the Premier League as Championship champions in 2010. His thanks? The sack the following December, with Newcastle 11th in the top flight. Two years later, he brought Birmingham to the play-offs, where they lost out in a semi-final against Blackpool.

Repeating either of those feats will be a tough ask but bookmaker reaction to Brighton’s bright start — they have been trimmed from 8/1 to 11/2 for promotion — suggests a wariness of Hughton’s managerial ability.

Not that a man known for his humility is getting carried away. “There isn’t an easy game in this division,” he said. “You look through the fixture list looking for one that’s maybe a little bit more comfortable than the next one and it doesn’t really happen.”

Staying on the managerial theme, it was a good weekend for Mick McCarthy as Ipswich came from a goal down to win 2-1 against a Sheffield Wednesday side who lost Keiren Westwood to a back injury in the second half.

McCarthy said: “I think it was a good performance. We had to come from behind to beat a very good team, which means we showed all the attributes you need to be a success in this league.”

On the playing front, it was another generally quiet weekend for the Championship’s Irish contingent. The exception was at Ashton Gate, where an early Alan Judge tap-in and an own goal from Derrick Williams put Brentford on course for a 4-2 win at Bristol City.

In League One, Paddy Madden continued his flying start to the season as his brace gave Scunthorpe a 2-0 win over Crewe.

Madden said: “It’s always nice to score goals, so to get my first ones this early in the season is even better. I’ve got three in three now, I’m looking to get as many as I can.”

Conor Hourihane came off the bench to score a penalty to give Barnsley a 1-0 win over Burton. “It was pleasing to score and get out on the pitch and contribute for the team,” he said.

Elsewhere in League One, Billy Clarke was on the mark as Bradford drew 1-1 with Shrewsbury; Donal McDermott netted in Rochdale’s 2-0 win at Blackpool while an Anton Rodgers free-kick rescued a 2-2 draw for Swindon against Bury.

In League Two, Barry Corr scored twice as Cambridge drew 4-4 with Carlisle while Patrick Hoban’s stoppage-time equaliser earned Oxford a 2-2 draw against Luton.

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