Chris Hughton gives his verdict on Newcastle's plight at the bottom of the Premier League

Chris Hughton.
Chris Hughton.

Chris Hughton has backed Rafa Benitez to turn around Newcastle United's season.

The club is propping up the Premier League after a winless start to the season.

Hughton's Brighton and Hove Albion side beat Newcastle 1-0 at St James's Park yesterday thanks to a first-half goal from Beram Kayal.

United dominated the game, but couldn't score.

“There have been spells like this before," said the former Newcastle manager.

"If I look at last season, there was a difficult period last season, and eventually what happened was they turned it around and, of course, managed to finish in 10th place.

“One thing that's obvious it that they have got quality on the pitch and any difficult period that they have, I'd always be confident that Rafa would turn that around.

“There are, of course, a series of games now that are not against the top six – probably not as much has been made of the fact that they have played five of them already that what should have been, so I'm sure they will be fine."

It was Hughton's first win at St James's Park as a manager in five attempts.

“I can honestly tell you it's no different to anywhere else," said Hughton. "This is a club that I have got very, very fond memories of, and I always want to do well, so no, it's no different to anywhere else.

“For us, it's a big away three points, and we are not used to get so many of them. That's more than the fact that it's here."

Meanwhile, Brighton strker Glenn Murray was taken to hospital after a clash of heads with Federico Fernandez.

Murray received lengthy treatment before being taken to hospital.

“He’s OK,” said Hughton. “He’s been discharged from hospital. As most saw, he was out, and so what will happen is now, of course, we will do the appropriate things this week.

“But he’s had everything that he’s needed to have – the correct quick scans and so on – and everything is fine, so it will just be a question now of recovering, but he’ll obviously be sore for a while.

“We’ll do what’s appropriate this week.”

Fernandez was able to continue.