After missing out on automatic promotion last year on goal difference and then suffering play-off semi-final heartbreak against Sheffield Wednesday, the Seagulls have come so close already.
But Hughton has continually batted away questions that that disapointment is what is driving his side on this season.
He instead has praised his players 'real drive' to reach England's top flight. And they are well on course.
They sit top of the Championship two points clear of Newcastle, who play Burton Albion tonight, ten points clear of third-placed Reading and 12 clear of Huddersfield, who have two games in hand.
Hughton said: "In all honesty, I have been asked that question a few times. I don't think last season has anything to do with it. What is has to do with is that you have got a group of players that are desperate to do well this season.
"Doing well means in whichever way getting promotion. I think the experiences of this league in games we haven't played well in and lost this season are the best for this team.
"You know if we aren't playing well, we can lose. I think it's more about the experiences of this team being together and a real drive of getting promotion.
"And responding to any set-back, that can be a period of a game when you don't play well, when you know you have to raise your game or on the back of a defeat where you know on the back of a defeat, if you have another, there are too many good teams around you that can close the gap."