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Hughton: Game Needed Moment Of Quality

By Kieran Cleeves • 28 August 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton admitted it was going to take a moment of quality to break the deadlock at the Amex Stadium this evening, as Charlie Austin’s late header clinched a 1-0 victory for Southampton in the Carabao Cup.

The Seagulls came close on a number of occasions against the Saints, but Austin’s 88th-minute header made the difference, and Hughton felt his team performed well enough to take the game to a penalty shootout.

He said, “I couldn’t fault the players - the game looked like it was going to be a draw, and it was going to take that little bit of quality to change that.

“We got into some really good areas and created chances - Viktor’s [Gyokeres] header was probably the best chance we had. They had a similar chance and scored it.

“It was always going to be that one moment that changed things, and unfortunately it came for them.

“The big disappointment is that the game was heading for a draw, and that really would have been a fair result.”

Albion gave three under-23 players their first-team debut, as Ben Barclay, Viktor Gyokeres and Will Collar all played 90 minutes - and Hughton commented on their involvement, as well as identifying Southampton’s strengths.

“It’s not as if they haven’t trained with the first team - Ben Barclay has been with us right through the pre-season period.

“It was a step up for them against a very good side, they’ve got a lot of depth in their squad and their team selection showed that, with the changes they were able to make.

“I don’t think Southampton have any injuries at all, whereas we’ve had to be mindful, with some of the problems we’ve got, looking ahead to Saturday.

“But I thought we were right in it for the large majority of the game. It really could have gone either way.”

Yves Bissouma was the only player to retain his place in the starting line-up that played against Liverpool at Anfield, and Hughton praised the Malian midfielder for his energetic performance under the Amex lights.

“I thought Bissouma was excellent. He’s a talent and it’s really about adjusting to the game here, and to the way that we play.

“He’s still picking up on the language and there’s certainly more to come from him. It was another good opportunity for him tonight.

“He’s a good individual that wants to play, and he certainly gives us something different to what we already have in that midfield group.”

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