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'Everything at Brighton is geared for Premier League football'

19 April 2017

After suffering heartbreak last season, Chris Hughton and Brighton & Hove Albion have finally reached the promised land of the Premier League.

Brighton will now ply their trade in England's top-flight for the first time in 34 years next season, against some of the biggest clubs in world football.

Dale Stephens is probably more relieved at Brighton's long overdue than promotion than anyone else in the squad as it was he who was sent off in their pivotal do-or-die game against Middlesbrough on the final day of the regular season past year. We've recruited very well, the team spirit is fantastic and he has done remarkably well in a very tough league.

Brighton are highly unlikely to invest anywhere near that much, and are more set on the Burnley model of carefully putting the pieces in place to slowly try and establish themselves, which may mean the first season in the top flight is a hard one.

Gaetan Bong, Liam Rosenior and Beram Kayal played no part in the 2-0 win at Wolves that put Brighton on the brink and all three are fit and ready to tackle Wigan, for whom Bong used to play.

The Seagulls have truly taken flight rising to a level that 20 years ago would have been deemed fantastical as they found themselves in dire straits like a character out of Charles Dickens novels, without a home and penniless.

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"I'd like to get promoted first, the aim of this season from the outset was to gain promotion and that still remains our number-one target", said Stephens, who joined the Seagulls from Charlton in 2014.

I've seen a fair bit on social media that Brighton are "coming for us" which is lovely, considering we've been waiting for that for four years. Brighton are now in for a bumper payday, with promotion to the Premier League worth an estimated £170m.

Hughton has experienced the thrill of promotion before with current title rivals Newcastle, but he rates this one as his finest achievement.

The Seagulls have not played in the top flight since 1983, but will be locking horns with the elite teams once again next season.

"It's the first goal that's really got me really".

"I always believed in my quality and when I had the chance to come to this club I came straight away because I knew the ambition that the club had. I think there are some great examples of clubs that have built their reputations in the premier league".