Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton told his players to use today's 3-0 defeat to Middlesbrough as the springboard to go again, as they head into a busy festive period with matches against Brentford, Ipswich Town and Wolves.
He said, "We now have to make sure that this game motivates us going into our next series of games because this was always likely to happen at some stage. It's happened on the back of a real tough period for us where we have lost a few players in the squad.
"There has not been a team that has really beaten us well and although it was tough today, we hope this will be the one that will get us back onto winning terms in the next game. What we have to make sure is that these lads get plenty of rest and recovery.
"We have coped very well and any team that gets to this stage of the season on an unbeaten run absolutely deserves it, and we have. We have got a lot of character in that dressing room and we need to show that now."
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Hughton had no complaints about the outcome, but did feel the score was harsh on Albion, adding, "It's tough because we have been on a wonderful run, but we came up against a team that have shown today where they have been this season; one that got to the play-offs last season and invested very well in the summer.
"On the balance of play they were not dramatically different from us, but they were in the areas that mattered. They defended strongly and had that bit of quality to get the types of goals that they did; they were far more clinical than us.
"We came into the game on the back of a big run and on the back of two very tough away games. We picked up another injury today and while we have generally coped with everything that has been thrown at us, maybe today was just that one game too far."
Finally, Hughton praised the reaction of the Albion fans on the final whistle, as they applauded his side from the pitch. "We have done the supporters proud, but we want to have a good season, not just a good half-season and it is now about how we react.
"I thought our supporters were excellent. I think they appreciate that we have had a really good start to the season and generally what they have seen from the team has been good. Today was not so good but again they half-appreciated that this is going to happen occasionally .
"We will absolutely need them to be as they always are, come our next home game against Ipswich. Following that we have two home games where once again, we need them to be as good as they have been.
"We are still in that top group of teams and we know there will be lots of twists and turns and some of the teams who are favourites to go up will have bad days. It's up to us make sure that we have enough good ones."
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