As Chris Hughton takes charge of Albion for the 200th time against Burnley, he is confronted by a kindred spirit.

Sean Dyche also has to try to manage expectations as well as results.

There has never been more than eight places between the clubs in Hughton's three full seasons in charge.

They are close to each other again, Albion 13th, Burnley three points worse off in 17th.

The biggest gap occurred last season when Hughton steered the Seagulls to safety after promotion.

Burnley, extraordinarily, finished seventh under Dyche in their second year back in the top flight.

Hughton has to deal with an expectation that Albion will do better with a more competitive squad.

For Dyche (below), the high bar of last season serves as a warning for every manager outside of the top six. Over-achieve and you effectively shoot yourself in the foot. Be careful what you wish for.

The Argus: Hughton said: "I think that Burnley’s difficult start to the season definitely can happen. When you are a Burnley that can’t have the depth in the squad or budgets that others can have, it’s very difficult.

"I think it shows the difficulty of this division. When you are a top six side you can cope with that. They're used to being involved in Champions League games but when you are not, to throw on top of that a series of Europa League games, and still having to ply your trade in a very difficult division, it’s very, very hard.

"And I do think that serves as a warning how difficult this division is and that the likes of the Burnleys and ourselves are always going to have some difficult periods, and it's about coming through those periods."

Burnley have done that, although they are still perilously placed. They are unbeaten in their last six league games, including a trip to Old Trafford.

Armed with vociferous home support and a powerful strike force supplemented by the ageless Peter Crouch, they should survive.

The Argus: What of Albion? Hughton (above) accepts they are in a relegation battle after Cardiff's tea-time victory last weekend over Bournemouth narrowed their cushion over the bottom three to five points.

They are going through a sticky spell, six points from 30, but the Amex is their fortress.

Leicester, eighth at the time last season, are the lowest-placed team to beat them at home.

Next month Huddersfield (20th), Cardiff (18th) and Southampton (16th) are the visitors. In a strange sort of way, a genuine risk of relegation might actually inspire some supporters.

One of the dangers, and difficulties, for managers like Hughton and Dyche operating outside the top six is the boredom threshold of the fanbase.

Hughton told the Argus: "I don't know if it makes it any more difficult, because it's a difficult job anyway.

"Remember, Burnley are on the back of an outstanding season last season. I think it's been very much underestimated and underrated the job that he (Dyche) did with the squad that they had.

"But I think it's a difficult job anyway and one aspect of it is managing expectations and over a period of time it becomes a bigger part of it.

"For a performance that your supporters might see one week and see a completely different performance next week, it's because of where the likes of us are.

"If we were capable of being consistently good every week then we wouldn't be a team that has just been promoted to this division.

"We would be an established Premier League team that are pushing around those seventh, eighth, ninth places.

"It's just part of the management job we have to do and it, of course, has become a bigger part in recent years."

The Argus: Wolves under Nuno Espirito Santo (above) are not helping, although they are possibly the best team in the Premier League era to be promoted. What they are doing is extraordinary, but then the expectations will mount.

Hughton said: "Yes it is (extraordinary). They have a very good manager and every time I hear him speak he speaks exactly the same way, it's about managing expectations, one game at a time.

"They are having an outstanding season for a club that has just got promotion, but he will be aware as everybody will do that it raises expectations and as a manager you will always have to deal with that one. At the moment he is dealing with it very well."

Footnote: Chris Hughton has won 85 matches, drawn 53 and lost 61 with Albion, taking them from 21st in the Championship to 13th in the Premier League and an FA Cup quarter-final.

He lasted 82 games at Norwich, 70 at Newcastle and 62 at Birmingham.

He was also caretaker at Newcastle for four games, at Tottenham for six.