Hughton not surprised by Palace's upturn in fortune since last league meeting

Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton manager Chris Hughton has not been surprised by Crystal Palace's upturn in fortune since the last Premier League meeting between the sides in November.

Palace were bottom of the table when they drew 0-0 at the Amex and are now fourth from bottom, three points clear of the relegation zone and four points behind Albion.

Roy Hodgson replaced Frank de Boer as the Eagles' manager in September and Hughton said: "I'm not surprised at all (by Palace's results since the last league meeting). When you look at a team you look at individual players they have and I think they have an abundance of quality in their squad.

"Roy's had to deal with in the difficult periods injuries, particularly to (Wilfried) Zaha who missed games, but I think man-for-man they are a very good team and a very good squad so it's no surprise for me that he has been able to improve where they are and go on and get some very good results."

Today's match is Brighton's first trip to Palace in five years and on coping with the atmosphere inside Selhurst Park, Hughton said: "It's always an advantage if things are going well and they are playing well and winning a game.

"Sometimes that type of environment, when things are not going so well or they are not playing well or are behind, it can sometimes go either way.

"If you are a player or manager you would rather, of course, have that intensity going for you, which can help. But it can work both ways."