Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton says the immediate priority is to get results rather than performances in order to move up the Championship table.
The Albion manager says that in an ideal world the team would win with style each week, but realises that his side may have to grind out results and occasionally sacrifice their expansive style of play to move further away from the foot of the table.
He said, “You’re always after good, entertaining performances and winning football. It’s nice if you can combine the two because it makes all of our jobs easier, but we’re in a very tough league and we’re up against two teams that have had very good seasons, so points are more important than anything.
“Points matter and it’s up to me to determine the best way to get those points. If that means at any stage of the game trying to make sure the opposition don’t get the freedom of the pitch they would like or for us to be less expansive, than you have to pick your moments to do that.
“When you’re at home you still have to try to win a game. If you’re playing too defensively against a good team than at some stage they’re going to hurt you. If that means playing a different way to get those points then you have to do that. Ultimately we want to win the game in the best way we can.
“If you’re able to get those points than you’re able to build something. If not, then you’re always looking for solutions for that to happen. Ideally you want points first and then philosophies afterwards.”
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Hughton also recognised the need for the side to improve their attacking play in the final third, with Albion losing a fair few games by just the odd goal so far this season.
"That's a fair assessment. In the games that I have watched, and even games earlier in the season where the scoreline wasn't favourable, there were a lot of tight affairs.
"One thing I was made aware of was that we have been in a lot of matches where the margins could have gone either way.
"I think a lot of that is because, certainly before my time, there has been a philosophy of play that is very much a good, possession-based game. Of course the more of the ball you have as a team the less possession the opposition have and of course, there are fewer opportunities for them to hurt you.”
Finally, Hughton praised the displays of Craig Mackail-Smith in his first two games in charge and says it is a matter of time before the striker regains his goalscoring touch.
“If I look at the two games I’ve been involved in with Brentford and Charlton, I certainly saw more fluency in his movement.
“A big asset of Craig is to work hard and close people down; sometimes that’s going to take away a bit of his goalscoring prowess because he works for his team, but he just needs to keep going in the same direction. Strikers want to score goals and I think that will be massive for him once he starts scoring again.
“He’s been involved in both games that I’ve been involved with so far and I ’m still assessing the quality of the players that I have here. If you’ve got to be fighting to prove something or to get the goal that you want then it’s not a bad thing.”