Liverpool boss Klopp hails Hughton and Brighton

Jurgen Klopp and Chris Hughton pictured at the Amex earlier this season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Jurgen Klopp and Chris Hughton pictured at the Amex earlier this season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Chris Hughton could easily be a manager of the season contender and has hailed the job he has done with Brighton this year.

The Seagulls secured their Premier League status with two games to spare, after a 1-0 victory over Manchester United earlier this month.

Liverpool need a point from this afternoon's match to guarantee a Champions League place for next season - although they could still seal a place in next year's competition if they beat Real Madrid in the final on May 26.

In his programme notes for today's match, Klopp wrote: "It is hard to find words in English to summarise my admiration for the work Chris Hughton and his staff have done this season.

"To get promoted is a massive achievement and to then consolidate yourself in the Premier League is, for me, even bigger.

"Brighton have achieved this because they have brilliant leadership throughout their club. They've made really smart decisions, stuck together in difficult times and worked hard for each other.

"Chris is someone who could easily be considered a contender for manager of the season because of how he has guided his side this season.

"He is so calm and dignified both in the dugout and in how he presents himself publicly. He is a wonderful role-model for coaches and managers in England and I love that his work is recognised.

"I saw their win against Manchester United and of course in the aftermath much of the focus is on Manchester not winning, but this is so unfair. Brighton were exceptional and seemed very fresh and very bright.

"This is our warning today. Brighton still have many miles in the tank and we need to be ready to work harder than they work, and fight harder than they fight. It is that simple."