Rafa Benitez speaks about his respect for Chris Hughton – and Brighton

Chris Hughton
Chris Hughton

Rafa Benitez is wary of Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion

Chris Hughton's side lead Newcastle United by a point ahead of tomorrow night's game at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton went top of the division of Saturday night after beating Reading 3-0 at home.

And Benitez has told of his respect for Hughton, who guided Newcastle out of the Championship in the 2009-10 season.

“I said before that he is doing a great job," said United's manager.

"He has a very good team, a team that has been in the play-offs three times in last few years. That shows they have the experience and he has good players."

Newcastle, held to a 2-2 draw at St James's Park by Bristol City on Saturday, have been better away from home this season.

“We have a good record away," said Benitez. "In some ways, you can go there and show your strength.

"And it is important to have the belief we can do it because we have all season.

“We think about trying to win away because of our record. In football, you never know. If we win at Brighton, the next game (against Huddersfield Town) will be easier. Let’s concentrate on Brighton."