Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton hailed his goalscorer Bobby Zamora tonight, after his third goal of the season helped the Seagulls pick up a valuable point at Burnley - but did admit it was a late decision to start the 34-year-old striker.
Hughton had seven players missing with injury or illness but opted to stick with 4-4-2 and named Zamora in his starting 11 for only the second time this season, and the striker didn't disappoint, as he opened the scoring in the first minute.
Hughton said, "It was a fairly late decision, but we know what Bobby can do and it’s up to us to keep him at that level and fit. There is no problem with his motivation and some glimpses of his play today were exactly the reason why we bought him.
"It’s testament to him, his longevity in the game. He’s changed his game and we know he doesn't have the pace he had before. He’s a strong individual and he’s a very clever player. We needed him today and I thought he did ever so well."
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Albion went ahead early on, when Zamora poked the ball home from close range, after Tomer Hemed's effort came back of the bar. Burnley responded quickly, as Andre Gray levelled from the penalty spot after Lewis Dunk was penalised for pulling Michael Keane's shirt.
The draw stretched the unbeaten run to 18 matches, and Hughton felt it was a fair result - especially considering the injuries and opposition - but was disappointed at referee Simon Hopper's decision to award the penalty.
"They probably got a few more balls into the box and were a bit more threatening in the final third, but we dealt with the surge very well. We took an early lead, but being the team away from home, I thought it was a good result.
"You’ve got to give our team credit because after we took the lead, and getting the lift from that, we then conceded a penalty. You may have seen a dip from the team, but we were always in the game.
"There is no doubt that Lewis has got some of his shirt, but their lad has as well. You see that every game. In our last game, Lewis was pulled inside the box, so it feels very harsh that he chose to give it at that time, as it's something that you see often."
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