Chris Hughton's admiration for 'brilliant' Newcastle fans, blow for Brighton

Chris Hughton

Chris Hughton

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Chris Hughton says it's "brilliant" to see the sold out signs up at St James's Park in the Championship.

Newcastle United's average attendance in English football's second tier this season is a remarkable 50,571.

Brighton and Hove Albion manager Hughton guided the club back into the Premier League in the 2009-10 season.

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Newcastle's average gate that season was an impressive 43,388.

Asked about United on talkSPORT, Hughton said: “Newcastle at the moment ... I think it’s brilliant to see them getting 50,000 in this division,”

Championship leaders Newcastle are three points ahead of Brighton, who entertain Aston Villa tonight at the Amex Stadium.

Hughton's side were beaten 2-0 at St James's Park in August in front of a crowd of 49,196.

Villa's average gate so far this season is 31,860.

Meanwhile, Colin Calderwood, Hughton's No 2 at Brighton, has resigned from his post at the club.

Calderwood, put on gardening leave, is reportedly wanted by Villa manager Steve Bruce.

The 51-year-old served under Hughton at Newcastle.