(REUTERS) - Manager Sean Dyche's success at Burnley this season is no way less that what Pep Guardiola has achieved with his record-breaking Manchester City side, Brighton manager Chris Hughton has said.
Burnley, who returned to top-flight football under Dyche last season, have won nine and drawn four of their 17 league games and are level with fourth-placed Tottenham and fifth-placed Liverpool on 31 points. They are a point ahead of Arsenal.
Hughton said Dyche's impact was similar to Guardiola's, who has led City on a 15-game winning run in the league to open up an 11-point lead at the top of the standings this season.
"Everybody is looking at City and saying they have been outstanding and they have this huge gap at the top of the division," he told reporters.
"I think Burnley's achievements are very much right up there with what City have done. You have to do it over a season, of course, and it will probably be harder for Burnley, with the size of the club, to maintain it over a season than it will be for the bigger teams.
"But if you're asking me right at this moment then, yes, Sean's achievement for what he's done at Burnley is right up there with what Manchester City have done."
With Dyche at the helm, Burnley were relegated in 2015 but the club kept their faith in the Englishman.
"A high percentage of clubs wouldn't have seen the manager there the following season, having gone down," Hughton said.
"That is testament to Burnley and also to the individual. When Burnley went down they weren't out of sight, adrift of everyone else...
"Credit to Burnley. They saw a good opportunity to keep a good manager and give him the opportunity to bring them back up again."
Brighton, who are 13th in the league, host Burnley, who have won three of their last five league games, later on Saturday.