CHRIS HUGHTON wasn't pleased to see his Brighton & Hove Albion side go behind for the first time in the Championship this season, but he was pleased with his side's response to Joe Mason's early goal in the 1-1 draw with Cardiff City on Saturday.
He said, "Where I was delighted is that it has not been like us this season to go behind. Generally we have been strong starters and have taken the lead, so to respond the way that we did spoke volumes for the group of players that we have.
"We had a lot of chances, got into a lot of good areas, and when you get into those areas as consistently as we did on Saturday, then you have got to be finishing and you have got to be winning games.
"We could have at least four more points right now but I think that you do need to evaluate over a period of time - the things that go for you and the things that go against you - and overall I don't think that we could have asked any more than to be in the position that we are in the league at this moment.
"If anybody said that we would be going into this break ten games unbeaten and top of the division then we would have been incredibly delighted. It is a reflection of how the players have performed and overall the level of performance has been good; there are not too many games where we have not got the results that we deserved. The challenge is never ending though."
Meanwhile Hughton felt the chance that fell to his skipper Gordon Greer late on was much harder than it appeared; was delighted with Sam Baldock's ongoing contribution; and have an update on Kazenga LuaLua's fitness.
"Gordon's chance was one of the ones that actually are the most difficult. There is no doubt that if he gets a good view of the ball and is able to adjust then he scores, but when the ball comes across fast like that and you are not sure that it is coming and you see it at the last minute then i can understand why he hasn’t scored.
"Sam had a lot of chances but what he is doing for us is that he is working incredibly hard for the team. He has got very high energy levels and you can't fault what he is giving the team right now.
"The October statistic is just one of them quite weird stats. There is no particular reason for it, it just happens, but we have a few more games to end it.
"Kazenga is doing okay. The international break will help. We are not sure how quickly after that it will be, but we are optimistic that it won’t be too long. We will look to get him involved in training either next week or if not then the following week. We will then see where we are when it comes to the Leeds and Bristol Coty games."
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RUSSELL SLADE paid tribute to his former club and said he thought Albion were excellent, while his side were not at their best.
He told Wales Online, "We got ourselves a great goal from the things we had talked about and worked on in training. But we didn't back that up. We seemed to go into our shell a little bit.
And while Slade conceded his side were second best, he said: “We wouldn't have eked out that result last season. That's the progress of the team, the spirit and togetherness of this group got is that result.
"We were not great at times, we were loose with the ball and nowhere near our best, but we still hung in there and got a point when it wasn't a top performance.
"They had the lion's share of possession but, as we know well after the game with Hull at home, it doesn't account for a lot if you can't put the ball in the back of the net."
Slade also accepted a winner for Cardiff, when Lewis Dunk cleared off the line from Sammy Ameobi, might have been more than his side deserved.
He added, "It would have been harsh on Brighton but that's football. It was an open game in the second-half but they had 20 shots to our six and had superiority in possession, I accept that, but against a good Brighton side it's a good point."
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