Brighton & Hove Albion winger Kazenga LuaLua felt like he had seized his moment after coming off the bench and scoring Albion’s second goal against Derby County last night.
The Congolese winger replaced the injured Sam Baldock five minutes before the interval and then rifled home a 77th-minute strike to secure an impressive 2-0 victory over the promotion-chasing Rams .
He said, “It was a massive win; we lost the game on Saturday so we knew it was going to be a tough game.
“My goal came after Chris O’Grady played in a through-ball to me and I just had one thing in my mind, which was to a take a touch and shoot. I was so happy when it hit the back of the net and it was a good feeling.
“Since I got back from injury it’s been tough and I was desperate to play and to start games. There are people ahead of me that are doing well, so I’ve have just had to take my chance when I get an opportunity to play. You can see from the way I celebrated that I was really happy.
“When you don’t play you get frustrated, but there’s nothing I can do. Sam [Baldock] Joao [Teixeira] and Calde [Inigo Calderon] have been playing well lately.
“The only way to respond is to train and work hard to get even better. I’ve been out injured for ten weeks, but if the players ahead of me have been doing well then it can only be good for the team and competition for places is very high at this club.”
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LuaLua then praised Chris Hughton for the way he managed his comeback from injury and is thrilled to see Albion move nine points clear of the bottom three following Millwall’s 3-0 defeat to Middlesbrough.
“The gaffer has been superb with me since he first got the job; he asked me about the injury and said not to rush anything, take my time and come back only when the time is right, which I did.
“It’s been a very tough season and we wish that were in a better position in the league, but you can’t always expect to get better every year.
“Obviously there are still a lot of games left but nine points is a good gap to have and now is the time to push on and get higher up the table.”