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When CH was appointed I was in some ways happy because he seemed a relatively ''steady'' appointment to take us into a land of consolidation.

But, I said at the time that my main concern was the likely shift between two seemingly polar opposites in terms of management style.

Under Lambert we were gung-ho, attack-minded and courageous. It was reflected in his team selections and substitutions as well as the formation of the team.

I thought then - and have not seen any evidence to contradict this - that CH is a thinker, ponderer and safety-first manager. And we needed some safety based on the porous defence in our first season up.

But a manager''s approach is more than tactics: most importantly it relates to attitude and belief.

My concern was that we would be going from a culture of ''f*** the b''stards'' to ''respect them, but outplay and out-think them''. It also seemed to be ''out-defend them'' rather than ''out-attack them''.

And so, I fear, it has proved to be the case. Yes, I know that we need to be more than a cavalier bunch of newcomers taking the big boys by surprise, but we seem to have overreacted and have ended up being a group of respectful new boys giving deference to the powers that be.

In some sense the Lambert era was not just about success. It was how we always used to be seen and what we felt we were in the days of McDougall, Boyer, Fashanu, Gordon, Fleck, Sutton and other mercurial individuals. The management gave them the license to kill.

The individuals at the club now are clearly the most talented bunch of players we''ve ever had, but until we can create a common sense of approach from manager to players to fans we cannot expect to see the excitement and genuine expectation from the peaks of the past.

I like Chris Hughton as a man, but I have never felt he is the type of individual to instil the kind verve into our club that we have thrived on at the most successful - and exciting - times in our history. He was not here when we were here, experiencing what we were at our most potent.

He have been and may be a logical choice, but he is not the inspirer of players and - through that - of fans that we so deperately need.

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