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Hughton: The Damage Was Already Done

By Kieran Cleeves • 16 April 2018

Despite an improved second-half display, Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton admitted the damage was already done when his team conceded from two corners in the opening half against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The Seagulls were beaten 3-2, with all five goals coming inside a frenetic first half in south London, and Hughton was disappointed with the nature of the goals conceded, after working on set plays in recent months.

He said, “What you do as a manager and a coach - you work on set plays during the week and what we did a while back was change things after the West Brom game, where we conceded two goals.

“We haven't conceded a goal from a corner since then - so it was hugely disappointing to concede one again.

“Ultimately, we can set up the team in the best way that we can, but when the players go out onto the pitch, they have to produce.

“What we produced in this game was a good second-half performance, but of course, the damage had been done by then.”

Albion struggled to get to grips with their opponents in the first half at Selhurst Park, but Hughton’s men remained in the contest after goals from Glenn Murray and Jose Izquierdo - and the Seagulls boss assessed the action.

“Their performance was better than ours. They were a bigger threat and better on the ball than what we were.

“Anybody watching the game would say exactly the same - but they are also a team that have vulnerabilities.

“Probably the biggest disappointment for them was that in a first-half period, where they were much better than us, they were able to score three goals but we were able to score two.

“I’m sure that Roy [Hodgson] would’ve been quite frustrated at half-time, having been the better side in that first-half period.”

Albion’s gap to the relegation zone remains at seven points following Southampton’s 3-2 defeat against Chelsea - and Hughton stressed the belief his players have always had in avoiding the drop.

“If you’re talking about confidence in staying up - we’ve always been confident. It’s a difficult period for us at this moment, but there’s enough in our game that gives us confidence that we can get results.

“It’s also a question of other teams getting results as well. What it will take, the points we’ll need and where we’ll got those points from,is not something which anyone could tell me.”

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