Tuesday 23 July 2019

Brighton boss Hughton defends demeanour of ‘top, top manager’ Mourinho

United visit the Amex Stadium on Sunday.

Chris Hughton, left, is a big admirer of Jose Mourinho (Martin Rickett/PA)
Chris Hughton, left, is a big admirer of Jose Mourinho (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Chris Hughton believes it is normal for Jose Mourinho’s body language to be scrutinised because of his status as a high-profile Premier League manager.

Mourinho’s demeanour has been the subject of much debate during the summer amid reports of disagreements with the Manchester United board over transfer activity.

The Portuguese strengthened his United squad with three new arrivals – Brazil midfielder Fred, teenage full-back Diogo Dalot and back-up goalkeeper Lee Grant – but appeared to want more.

Brighton boss Hughton, who will be in the opposing dugout when the two teams meet on Sunday, has plenty of admiration for Mourinho and feels his behaviour will always attract attention.

“I think that’s what happens when you are a top, top manager,” said Hughton.

“He is one of our best managers, if you look at the record he has of winning things.

“And I think when you are that type of manager, you are going to be in the spotlight far more than others and everything is going to be picked up.

“They got off to a wining start last week (2-1 against Leicester), which is something they do on a regular basis.

“I just think he’s a very high-profile manager. But he’s managing a team that are more used to winning than losing.”

While Mourinho has appeared frustrated at the lack of new faces at Old Trafford, the Seagulls splashed more than £60million on nine first-team players.

Hughton says the transfer business of other clubs is not his concern and expects United to challenge for the title after finishing runners-up last season.

“I think everybody spends to what their requirements are,” added Hughton.

“As a manager of this football club, you are never aware or privy or know what the needs are of any other club.

“Certainly any transfer business they did, it’s their priorities and perhaps nobody else’s.

“They are a team – with the quality they have in the squad – that you very much expect to be up there again.”

Brighton could hand a debut to deadline-day signing Martin Montoya at the Amex Stadium, but captain Bruno, winger Jose Izquierdo and forward Florin Andone are unavailable because of various fitness issues.

PA Media

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