Brighton & Hove Albion interim boss Nathan Jones hailed his skipper Inigo Calderon tonight, after the popular right-back completed a remarkable Boxing Day fight back for the Seagulls against Reading.
Calderon fired a 90th-minute equaliser as Albion battled back to draw 2-2 with Reading after a disastrous start at the Amex which saw them concede two early goals.
Jones told seagulls.co.uk, "Calde is a credit to himself and the club. He has to put up with a lot in competing with a fantastic player like Bruno.
"I even thought about having him alongside me, but he’s too important to us and I wanted his focus on playing. For him to pop up like that was fantastic and very fitting.
"He has done that type of thing for the Albion for many years, he did it at Withdean, so it wasn't a shock."
LATEST NEWS FROM SEAGULLS.CO.UK
- HYYPIA LEAVES ALBION
- REPORT: ALBION 2 READING 2
- ALBION FANS WANTED FOR SOCCER AM
- HYYPIA THANKS ALBION FANS
- BURKE LEAVES ALBION
Jones says he loved the experience of leading the Albion at the Amex, but admitted to being left with mixed emotions at the final whistle.
He felt his team did enough to win the game in the second half, but they found Adam Federici in inspired form in the Reading goal as he made a string of saves to deny Albion.
"I wanted to win the game and I am disappointed in the end that we did not go on and win the game. I felt that we deserved to over the 90 minutes.
"We had the possession and the chances to win it, but we shot ourselves in the foot by conceding two bad goals.
"We showed a lot of character, a lot of quality and a lot of desire. I’m proud of the players as they gave me a great performance but I am gutted because of the start that we made – that is what killed us.
"I built up the importance of getting a real fast start and of getting the Albion fans behind us and we could not have had a worse possible start.
"It has been a theme for us [this season] that we have conceded at bad times in games. When we have scored, we have conceded straight away, and giving them a 1-0 start could not have been worse for us.
"That said, I’d like to focus on the positives and in the second half we saw a proper Albion performance.
"We gave the crowd something to get behind and I thought that they were magnificent. The players gave everything in that second half, got the Amex rocking with the commitment, character and desire they showed."