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Hughton: We Had To Dig Deep

By Kieran Cleeves • 05 October 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton accepted that his team had to withstand their fair share of pressure against West Ham United, but praised his players for digging deep to claim three points at the Amex.

The Seagulls claimed their first clean sheet of the season in their 1-0 victory over the Hammers, and Hughton assessed the tactical contest, which saw Albion move up the Premier League table into 12th.

He said, “We rode our luck against a very good West Ham side. You can see them scoring goals, they’re very strong in the final third and we had to defend very well.

“The real plus is the three points on a Friday night before an international break, that gives us a nice feel. We had to work really hard for our clean sheet.

“For as many poor decisions that we made on the ball, and the chances they had, we defended really well — players throwing themselves in front of the ball and getting blocks in.

“It takes all of that to get a result. It’s really pleasing and the three points are the most important thing.”

Glenn Murray fired his 99th Albion goal in the opening half to break the deadlock, and Hughton commented on the frontman’s hard-working performance, before assessing the health of his squad.

“I thought his all-round game was really good today. We were up against a good West Ham team and you need somebody who’s going to hold up the ball and compete.

“What he does ever so well is score goals, and I think that capped off a really good performance from him.

“We’re hopeful that Dale Stephens and Pascal Gross will be back after the international break, and then we’ll have a full squad available.

“It’s pleasing to get those players back, with [Florin] Andone on the bench as well. If we can keep our players fit, then we’ll have a really good, competitive squad.”

The Seagulls ended their wait for a second Premier League victory of the campaign, and Hughton highlighted the upcoming sequence of games as good opportunities to collect points.

“We’ve had a tough run and we’ve played four of the top six in the first seven games, two of those away from home.

“What we have to be able to do is capitalise on a period of games that are against teams outside of the top six.

“They’re all hard games in their own right and there won’t be so many as tough as the one we had this evening.

“But these are the games where we have to try and pick up our points.”

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