Chris Hughton believes it is “only fair and correct” that Les Ferdinand be a genuine candidate to replace Brighton-bound Dan Ashworth at the Football
Highly-regarded technical director Ashworth will leave the FA in the spring to take up the same role at Brighton, with QPR football director Ferdinand
rumoured to be in the running as his replacement with the English governing body.
Brighton manager Hughton insisted Ferdinand deserves to be in the conversation about replacing Ashworth at the FA, while he also backed a new FA initiative to boost the number of black and Asian coaches in English football.
Hughton hailed Paul Nevin’s link-up with England, that will see the Brighton head coach work with Gareth Southgate’s senior Three Lions in next
month’s matches against the USA and Croatia, as the FA places BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) coaches in all national squads.
Asked for comment on reports linking Ferdinand as a potential FA replacement for Ashworth, Hughton replied: “Les Ferdinand’s at QPR, so yes I think it’s natural; he has an England background, he has played for his country.
“So any mention of Les Ferdinand being associated with that job is only fair and correct.”
Brighton manager Hughton – a former Ireland defender born in London’s Forest Gate to a Ghanian father and Irish mother – praised the latest FA
initiative as a positive forward move.
Former England defender Sol Campbell will link up with Aidy Boothroyd’s England Under-21s in November, while Terry Connor, a former Ipswich assistant, will join Boothroyd’s set-up for this month’s clashes with Andorra and Scotland.
Hughton hailed Brighton coach Nevin for his determination in forging a successful coaching career, praising the ex-Fulham and Norwich coach for
taking on stints in New Zealand and Qatar to progress through the ranks.
“Nobody has a right to get any job, and I think black and ethnic coaches and managers don’t want to get to a stage where they get a job just because
of their background and their colour,” said Hughton.
“It will always be about the best person for the job.
“It’s always about selection process, interview process, and having more openness in those procedures.
“I’m pleased all-round for this football club, but mostly for Paul (Nevin), who’s somebody that has managed and coached for a long time and has
a lot of experience.
“But of course it’s great from the FA too, for seeing this through having talked about it a while back.
“Paul has a lot of experience, has coached and managed at all different levels, has a thirst for knowledge and has had to go out of his way, he’s
coached abroad, showed a real dedication to want to coach and manage and be part of that environment.
“He’s had to make sacrifices, we’re delighted to have him here.
“I’ve known him a long time, we worked together at Norwich as well, and with all of it, I’m delighted.”