Oscar Garcia dedicated Albion’s 3-0 win over Blackburn to lifelong Seagulls fan Lance Corporal Jay Brynin.
A perfectly observed minute’s silence was held prior to kick-off, paying tribute to fallen service men and woman including Bryin, who was killed in Afghanistan last month.
Oscar told seagulls.co.uk, “I would like to start by dedicating this victory today to all of our fans and especially James Brynin and his family.
“Jay was a great fan of Brighton and I am very sorry for his family and I wish them all the best. It was a very emotional day for me today.
“It was very important for us to win in front of our fans today because they have been waiting a long time for this and they deserved it.
“It wasn’t our best performance. We didn’t start the game too well but after the goal we began to play really well and deserved the victory.”
Albion’s Spanish head coach admitted that it was vital his side grabbed the third goal and was pleased to see Ashley Barnes finding the back of the net.
“We needed the third because we were losing the ball too quickly and gave them chances to get back into the game. There was a 10-15 minute spell in the second half when we were unable to keep the ball, but Tomasz (Kuszczak) made some great saves.
“I am very pleased because the whole team worked very hard to gain this victory. We still have six senior players out injured and we are playing with young players - but that also pleases me because they are playing very well.
“Ashley deserved his goals today because he has worked very hard this season, both in games and in training.
“It is a confidence thing and today Ash wanted to score and he took the responsibility, this is good to see because it shows he has a strong personality. Just a few moments before he missed a good chance but he wanted the opportunity to score.
“Sometimes when people talk about a striker they only focus on goals, but Ash is doing a great job for us. He creates space with his movements that allows other players like (Andrew) Crofts the chance to score. We have to view Ash as a complete forward player and not just a goalscorer.”
Meanwhile the fixture saw the return of Liam Bridcutt, who has been out all season with a hernia, however Keith Andrews missed out with a calf injury.
“I was very happy to have Liam back. It was always our intention to try and get some minutes under his belt today and he played well. We now want him to be fit from now until the end of the season.
“Keith Andrews was carrying a calf problem after Doncaster and while we hoped he would recover he was still feeling pain and was not able to complete training on Friday, so he was not available for selection today.”