Yet Hughton, who took over at Brighton in December 2014, admits the curious rivalry between two clubs nearly 50 miles apart took him by surprise. Without the 25-year-old recently, the London-based outfit have not won a Premier League game the Ivory Coast global has missed since September 2016. The fireworks never quite materialised in a 0-0 league draw at the Amex Stadium last November and were certainly lacking when both sides fielded weakened teams for Brighton's 2-1 win in an FA Cup third-round tie in January, even if ex-Palace player Glenn Murray did raise questions over why VAR was not used on its debut as he got the hosts' late victor.
Brighton are in a much more comfortable position, sitting 13th in the standings, with a seven-point gap over the bottom three.
Fourth bottom Palace now boast a precarious three-point advantage from the relegation places, but have played a game more than Southampton, who are directly below them.
"I feel like there's no need for us to have the debate". Because the two players up front caused the Bournemouth defence all sorts of problems, ' said the ex-England boss. The Eagles have been hindered by notable injuries over the last few months and the recent return of influential attacker Wilfried Zaha is a welcome boost. However that run-in sees them face all of the Premier League's top four sides, along with making the trip to an in-form Burnley. Chris Hughton's side have handled themselves well following last year's promotion and have held their own despite starting as one of the favourites for the drop.
Swansea moved five points ahead of Southampton after a 1-1 home draw with Everton. However, they have a brutal final six matches, facing Palace, Tottenham, Burnley, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool, four of which are away from home.
The defeat leaves Mark Hughes without a point in his three league games in charge and the FA Cup semi-finalists are now five points from safety in 18th spot.
Luther Blissett was speaking at Watford FC for one of Show Racism's the Red Card educational workshops with young people from local schools.