Chris Hughton delivers classy message after Newcastle hit rock bottom

Chris Hughton.
Chris Hughton.

It pains Chris Hughton to see Newcastle United, his former club, propping up the Premier League table.

Hughton's Brighton and Hove Albion side condemned the club to a fifth home defeat this season on Saturday.

A first-half strike from Beram Kayal gave the visitors a 1-0 win, which was Hughton's first success at St James's Park as an opposition manager.

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Hughton, however, doesn't expect Newcastle – who finished 10th last season – to stay there for long.

Asked if he had "sympathy" for United manager Rafa Benitez, Hughton said: "Sympathy is the wrong word.

"We're here to get a result. Rafa and Newcastle will get results, whether it's next week or the week after. It's no different to any other result (to me). If you're asking me if I want Newcastle to do well, yes I do.

"I want them to do well, but not to the detriment of us."

Hughton, sacked by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley in December 2010 just over a month after guiding the club to a 5-1 win over Sunderland, wouldn't get drawn into the debate about the club's ownership.

The 59-year-old, a popular figure on Tyneside, had warm words for his old team after the game.

Asked about ownership and investment at United, Hughton said: "From the moment I left the club, that wasn't my concern.

"I was here for almost three years, a wonderful three years of my coaching and managerial career. Newcastle gave me an opportunity to manage, so I'll always be very grateful for that.

"It's a team I want to see do well and I'm sure exactly like last season when they had a difficult period the team came through it and finished in a good position."