Lifelong fan Bloom's backing and investment hailed by Hughton as 'outstanding'

Norwich City caretaker manager Alan Irvine before the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Barnsley at Carrow Road Norwich England on 18 March 2017

Brighton were officially assured of a top-two spot in the Championship and a promotion to the top flight after Derby County held Huddersfield Town to a 1-1 draw in the late game on Monday.

"We knew it was going to be this kind of game but we were not ready - it seems we were not mentally ready", the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager added.

Brighton are the first Championship side to win a place in the top flight as Championship Player of the Season Anthony Knockaert helped inspire a nervy 2-1 win against Wigan.

And Bloom - a lifelong Albion fan - has now brought his dream and that of the Albion fans to reality as they reached the Premier League after a 34-year absence from top-flight football. After getting so close last season, the day after the Sheffield Wednesday defeat [in the play-off] wasn't easy.

Promotion this season follows serveral near-misses in years gone by, with three failed play-off campaigns in the past four seasons. "We recruited well early in the season, in the summer, but it was a real steely determination from the group of players that wanted to do it again".

"Obviously there's got to be a bit of balance with loyalty for the squad that have got us here, been so magnificent over not just this season but last as well, but obviously with one or two key reinforcements".

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"I don't necessarily think that was the motivation behind what we've been able to achieve this season", he said. Our away form has improved from previous year and probably that's the key to the success we've had this season.

Newcastle went down 3-1 to Ipswich, meaning Rafa Benitez's side remain under threat from Reading, who came from a goal down to beat already relegated Rotherham United 2-1 thanks to Lewis Grabban and John Swift.

Goals to Glenn Murray and Solly March sent the Seagulls well on their way to claiming the result before Nick Powell pulled one back late for the visitors.

"Having got this far and got into this division we absolutely want to stay there", Barber told Sky Sports News HQ.

Huddersfield could have closed the gap to Brighton and second-placed Newcastle with a win.

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