By Rebecca Hawksworth

Having previously managed at clubs such as Newcastle United and Birmingham City, and now in charge at Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion, Chris Hughton knows exactly what it takes to get the best out of a team.

In an exclusive interview with UCFB, as part of the LMA Insight Series, Hughton told us how to keep a squad and backroom staff happy and how to maintain strong working relationships for the benefit of a club.

Hughton, who spent nearly 30 years at Tottenham Hotspur as a player and coach, said: “The best culture that you can ever get is the culture where the expectation from the players themselves is of a high level. I think you can only have that when the training sessions that you do have a high demand from the players and that they have a consistency day in and day out.”

Effective managers and coaches don’t just build relationships with the players, Hughton explained, they also forge relationships with all of the backroom staff too – from coaches to boardroom, and from the canteen staff to media team.

FA Cup and UEFA Cup winner Hughton spoke of the importance of developing and maintaining good relationships with his media staff at Brighton: “I have always worked very closely with the media staff that we have, building good relationships. In this day and age when you’re going into a press conference, what we know will happen is that there will be a reporter that will hit you with something that you weren’t expecting. To minimise that as much as possible is to have a good relationship with your media staff so that you can put yourself in the best possible situation.”

He went on to highlighted the importance of managing upwards at a club and how ownership structures have changed over time.

Hughton, who gained over 50 caps for the Republic of Ireland during his playing career, said: “Going back to my earlier times in the game, the owner didn’t usually change, it was family boards and there probably wasn’t as much communication with the owner as there is now. I certainly think there tends to be more communication now and there are a lot more foreign owners now so I think it’s become far more important.

“For me the outlook always has to be that you take football out of the equation, as in any job you do you will have a boss and you will have superiors and the best formula for you is to get on as best as you can with them. When things aren’t going so well there are going to be questions asked and more demands and I think if you are able to have good honest communication then that will definitely help.”