Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton was left frustrated after Queens Park Rangers overturned Albion's 2-0 lead to claim a point in an end-to-end match at Loftus Road.
The Seagulls were forced to share the spoils after Charlie Austin’s second-half brace, but Hughton praised the spirit shown by his side to hold on in a nervy end to the game.
He said, “When you’re 2-0 up you want to get the three points. It was tough at the end with the sending off, but the first goal changed things.
“They have a lot of pace and power in the team and play direct to the front. We knew they would cause us problems and it was about whether we could defend that well enough for 90, 97 minutes.
“The players showed the character they have shown all season and they needed that today, because we might’ve gone under in that last bit, and I have got to give our lads credit.
“At that stage, they were going for it with four players upfront and they played a lot of deliveries in with pace. So in the end, we held out, but very much deserved it.”
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Albion ended the match with ten men following the dismissal of Lewis Dunk, following a second booking for a challenge on Alejandro Faulin and Hughton admitted he had no complaints regarding the red card.
“It was tough at the end with the sending off. There was no doubt that Lewis is stretching for the ball and it is possibly a yellow. I was annoyed because there was a similar challenge in the first half by Sandro that did not get a booking.”
Up next for the Seagulls is a second-versus-first clash at the Amex against Middlesbrough, who leapfrogged Albion at the top with victory over Burnley.
“At the minute, they’re all big games. We came into this one thinking this might be the toughest of the season and then we go into the Middlesbrough one, which is a similar test.
“We’d certainly rather be playing Middlesbrough at home on Saturday. It’s first versus second and we’d rather be in that position than further down. It’s a great game for the supporters and we’ll need them to be as vocal as what they have been all season.”
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