Chris Hughton picks out Wes Hoolahan as Norwich City’s dangerman
- Credit: PA
Brighton chief Chris Hughton knows exactly what to expect from his old club Norwich City - which means stopping Wes Hoolahan.
Hughton used the Republic of Ireland international only sparingly during his two years at Carrow Road in the top flight, but the Seagulls' boss is wary of Hoolahan's class in the Championship ahead of Saturday's south-coast tussle.
The former Birmingham boss lost out in his first reunion with Norwich, when Alex Neil's side won 1-0 back in April 2015 during their successful promotion push.
'Wes Hoolahan was a big player in my time there and he continues to be a big influence, and seems to get better with age,' he said. 'They have a really good offensive threat. Josh and Jacob Murphy were two young aspiring players during my time there, and it's good to see their development over the last few seasons. (Cameron) Jerome knows this division very well and is prolific at this level, so they have a lot of threats and that's why they're the side they are.
'They've certainly got quality and they've been able to keep hold of that in this division, which makes them very strong. I had two seasons with them – certainly the second was more difficult than the first season. I look back very fondly on my time with them and it was a very good experience.'
Hughton's side are on the back of an eight-match unbeaten run in the league, but he accepts there is an added edge to Saturday's encounter, with Brighton one point and two places ahead of the Canaries.
'There always is (more pressure) when you're playing a team that's around you, because everybody knows what's at stake,' he said. 'It's also about points that the opposition don't get, but is there any difference in a game away at Wigan and a home game against Norwich? Well, points-wise there's no difference.
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'But when it's a team that's close, it's also about making sure they don't get the points.