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Brighton defender Lewis Dunk hails Chris Hughton influence on his career

PA | 2mo
The Brighton captain made his England debut in 2018.

Lewis Dunk has hailed Brighton boss Chris Hughton for helping him mature into a top-class defender.

Hughton celebrated four years at the Brighton helm on December 31, having steered the Seagulls to Premier League stability in that time.

Centre-back Dunk cited his England debut in the 3-0 win over the USA at Wembley in November as a personal highlight for 2018, crediting Hughton for helping him realise his international ambition.

"I've had a few managers at this club, and he's definitely up there with the best I've had in my career," Dunk told Brighton's official club website.

"It's massive to have him at the club. He's been massive for my development. I think I've come on leaps and bounds since he's been in charge.

"I've become more and more consistent and he's calmed me down as a player.

"A few years ago I was getting a lot of bookings and I've calmed down recently.

"That's probably down to talking to and learning off him, because he was a defender too."

Asked to pick out a 2018 highlight, Dunk continued: "From a personal point of view, it would be my England debut.

"I worked very hard to get there and to make my family proud was a great thing for me.

"To see them after the game was a great honour.

"Hopefully I can stay in the squad until I retire. I've just got to keep performing well in the Premier League, while showing the manager what I can do."

Brighton turned the year in 13th in the Premier League, and will open 2019 with a trip to face West Ham on Wednesday night.

Dunk hailed former Republic of Ireland defender Hughton for helping Brighton realise that long-held Premier League dream – then insisted the Seagulls will not lose sight of their main objective, that of top-flight safety.

"He's taken this club to the next level after it had had been trying to reach the Premier League for a long time," Dunk added.

"For him to actually do it is a great achievement for the club and the whole city. It's a massive credit to him.

"We've got to look above us but we're nowhere near safe and we've got a long way to go.

"There's just under half a season to go and we've got to perform as well in the second half as the first.

"If we do that then I'm sure we'll be fine. We've got to keep pushing on, pick up as many points as we can, and not get carried away with ourselves."



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1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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