Middlesbrough promotion-decider one of Hughton's lowest moments

Brighton boss Chris Hughton returns to the scene of one of his biggest disappointments in football this afternoon.

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

The Seagulls are in action in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Middlesbrough, who pipped Brighton to promotion in the final game of the 2015/16 season.

Boro drew the promotion-decider 1-1, when Albion needed to win to grab the second automatic promotion spot.

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Middlesbrough were relegated after just one season back in the Premier League, while Albion were promoted into the top flight last year.

However, Hughton admitted that day at the Riverside Stadium is still a huge disappointment but added Albion responded well from missing out on promotion that day to reach the Premier League.

He said: "Whenever you get that close, then there becomes that huge disappointment.

"I remember being in the changing room afterwards and seeing a group of players who were as disappointed as I've seen. Probably that stems from what the prize was at the end.

"It was a huge prize to miss out on.

"The decision on the day (Dale Stephens' red card) would have affected the players as well and their mood and demeanour afterwards.

"It was certainly one of the biggest disappointments I've been involved in.

"But from that day, it's been mostly good.

"If I'm looking at the disappointment of the end of that season, it drove the players on the next season which was successful.

"We are in a better place than we were then. It's in some ways a harder place because this division, it goes without saying, is harder for us than the division we were in last season.

"As a team and a club, we're in a better place and we've reacted and responded very well to that disappointment."

Hughton has not spoken to the players about their last match at the Riverside Stadium and said: "Will the players be thinking about it? Some might harp back to the thoughts of that game but I haven't spoken to the players apart from tactical stuff.

"I haven't spoken about the last trip, so in all honesty I'm not sure how they're thinking.

"They'll think it's another opportunity to get through in a cup competition, it's not the Premier League but if you're talking outside the Premier League, they don't come any tougher than this away from home.

"They've got a new manager and a very good squad. That's what they'll be thinking of as opposed to last time around."