Football

Brighton boss Hughton: Newcastle are still favourites

Brighton extended their unbeaten run in the Championship to 15 games by beating Blackburn 3-2 at Ewood Park yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Seagulls boss Chris Hughton, however, admitted that previous leaders Newcastle remain the team to catch.

Former Blackburn defender Shane Duffy scored past goalkeeper Jason Steele for the fourth time this year in the league, though the previous three came when he was a Blackburn defender in the form of own goals, before Dale Stephens and substitute Glenn Murray netted in the second period.

Sam Gallagher's double kept the hosts in touch, yet with ex-Brighton captain Gordon Greer also sent off for them, Hughton's visitors never looked troubled as they moved above Newcastle into first place ahead of the Magpies' visit to Wigan this morning (Singapore time).

MAGPIES STILL FAVOURITES

Rafael Benitez's side remain most pundits' tip for the second-tier title and Hughton agrees with those who believe the north-east club seem destined for an instant return to the Premier League.

"I can understand it and I would probably say the same thing about Newcastle," former Magpies boss Hughton said.

"It's because of the squad they've got, I've not seen a squad as strong as theirs.

"I'm reasonably sure if we or anybody can stay close to them, they will put themselves in a very good position."

This was Blackburn's first home loss since September and Owen Coyle, whose team beat Newcastle last month to end their nine-game winning run, believes Brighton are capable of reaching the top flight.

"Along with Newcastle, they look favourites for promotion," said Coyle.

"They have quality, but we showed plenty of spirit and heart. The players gave everything they could." - PA SPORT

OTHER RESULTS

Leeds United 2 Reading 0, Norwich City 1 Aston Villa 0, Sheffield Wednesday 2 Barnsley 0, Birmingham 2 Ipswich 1, Bristol City 0 Brentford 1, Cardiff 2 Wolves 1, Burton 0 Huddersfield 1, Fulham 2 Rotherham 1.

 

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