Hughton, who saw Sweden international loan signing Johan Elmander score twice against Bury in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, believes he has assembled a stronger squad than last season.
He said: "I'd be the first to admit that by the standards we have here we have spent big. It is something I am grateful for and something I am proud of. The support I have got from the club has been excellent.
"But when you look at what Southampton and Cardiff have spent on individual players it puts it all into perspective. It's a tough league with a lot of very good teams."
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