Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fans Will Not Mind Title Going to Mr Nice Guy; If Newcastle Miss out on the Title Don't Bemoan Failings, Says Newcastle United Editor Mark Douglas. Laud Brighton and Chris Hughton's Success Instead

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fans Will Not Mind Title Going to Mr Nice Guy; If Newcastle Miss out on the Title Don't Bemoan Failings, Says Newcastle United Editor Mark Douglas. Laud Brighton and Chris Hughton's Success Instead

Article excerpt

THE general attitude appears to be that, if Newcastle United finish second, it could well be deemed a failure by many.

Perhaps, given the relentless nature of Brighton and Hove Albion's drive towards promotion all season, we should be giving a bit more credit to the Magpies' title rivals rather than wondering whether the campaign has turned out a little underwhelming from a Newcastle perspective.

For a start, the Magpies can still lift the Championship trophy - albeit they now have a four-point deficit to make up following Good Friday's agonising injury-time draw with Leeds United.

But, setting that to one side for a moment, let us actually laud the Seagulls' own achievement this season as Brighton now find themselves on the brink of mathematically guaranteeing promotion.

The Seagulls have been consistent throughout the entire campaign - rarely out of the top two positions since September - and have matched Rafa Benitez's Newcastle all the way.

And that despite having lost twice to the Magpies, both home and away, and having been thoroughly outplayed for the most part on both occasions.

Brighton's success has been the culmination of more than eight years' worth of investment from club chairman Tony Bloom.

Not only has Bloom helped the club achieve their on-field success, but he has also built one of the most impressive training complexes in the country, as well as the state-of-theart AMEX Stadium.

What's more, he has also put his faith in an excellent manager - and has backed Chris Hughton all the way.

The former Magpies boss did an excellent job at Birmingham City after his harsh Tyneside dismissal but, after a mixed spell at Norwich City, Bloom took a bit of a risk when appointing the former Tottenham Hotspur defender in 2014.

However, almost two-and-a-half years on, Hughton's hard work finally looks set to lead the Seagulls to the promised land of the Premier League following a succession of near misses. …

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