Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton was impressed by his side’s courageous attitude at Craven Cottage, after his players’ positive play forced a late and decisive penalty to secure a 2-1 win over Fulham.
Jake Forster-Caskey's clever pass found Kazenga LuaLua, and the winger won a penalty deep into injury time. That gave Tomer Hemed the opportunity to win the three points, and Hughton was delighted with his team’s desire.
“My first impression was that it was a definitely a penalty but you're never quite sure. It was a good opportunity for us and it shows bravery at that stage of the game that we tried to win it.
“Kaz is in great form at the moment and it was a super ball from Jake but he has that ability.
“That is three goals that Kaz has been involved in, in the last three games, and with each he's come on to the ball and used that pace that he's got.
“It is a big win, and at that stage it looked like it was heading for a draw but of course you are looking for that little bit of spark of inspiration, and we found it.”
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Albion’s manager was particularly pleased with the first-half display, but conceded that Matt Smith has caused the Seagulls issues throughout the contest.
“I thought our first half performance, especially the first twenty minutes, was excellent, but then you have to be able to capitalise on those chances in that period.
“I felt it was a bit of an injustice to go in at half time at 1-1 but when you have the likes of [Tom] Cairney and [Jamie] O'Hara they can pull out those types of goals.
“The big lad [Matt] Smith caused us a lot of problems and they changed their way a little bit.
“Smith is probably the best aerial threat in this division; they went more direct into the front which we had to deal with and we did.”
Meanwhile Hughton opted to hand new signing Uwe Huenemeier his debut, as he felt the combination of the German and Gordon Greer were better suited to deal with Fulham.
“It is part of the job I do; I have to make decisions. With Uwe coming in, and being as good as he is and having played at the level he has played at, I had to think about what was the right combination and I felt Gordon and Uwe were the best fit.
“It was my decision to do that today and sometimes you have to look at games, and if this was a different type of game then maybe I would have looked at a different type of combination.
“But these are the decisions I make and hope they turn out right on the day. Now we move on and look forward to the next game and I expect Dunk to be available and part of the squad on Tuesday.”