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MANAGERS’ VIEWS: HUGHTON AND ZOLA

19 December 2016

The two managers reflect on Saturday’s game at St Andrew’s.


CHRIS HUGHTON was pleased with his team’s improved performance after the interval, as the Seagulls secured victory following a below-par first-half display.

The Albion boss felt Anthony Knockaert’s equalising goal gave his side the platform to push for a winner, and praised their mentality of not settling for a point at St Andrew’s.

He said, “Our first-half performance wasn’t one of those that gets you a result away from home, but fortunately we were able to change it.

“If you’re winning 1-0 and the opposition come back to 1-1, sometimes the feeling in the group is that 1-1 is a good result.

“But because of the timing of the goal, it gave us real momentum to go on and get the winner, and probably on most occasions you don’t, but fortunately we did.”

Hughton highlighted the lack of chances created at both ends of the pitch, but applauded his players for showing enough quality in front of goal when it mattered.

“It was a really tough game. Birmingham were good for periods of the game and we weren’t at our best, but it was a game of minimal chances.

“[Lukas] Jutkiewicz’s goal was a very good goal, and apart from our two goals, and I know we had one cleared off the line, it was a game that didn’t have many clear-cut opportunities.

“We showed a lot of endeavour but there were few chances. It was going to be about the one team that produced that little bit of something to get the goals, and thankfully it was us.”

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GIANFRANCO ZOLA was disappointed to come away from Saturday’s game empty-handed, but took plenty of positives from his team’s display in his first game in charge.

The Blues boss felt the result was harsh on his players, who took the lead at St Andrew’s, and didn’t see Albion scoring twice after recording few chances during the game.

He said, ”There were a lot of things that pleased me. The attitude and the tactical attention that they had throughout the game. I take a lot of positives.

“It is very sad and cruel to lose a game in that way. We knew we were playing against a top-of-the-table team, but it didn't look like that.

“I was kind of expecting them to come back stronger towards the end. I didn't really see Brighton scoring because I can't remember any shots until they scored the first goal."

Zola praised goalscorer Lukas Jutkiewicz for his contribution against the Seagulls, and showed sympathy towards his players after losing late on.

"He scored a great goal today, but also his performance was magnificent in helping the team throughout the game. It was disappointing that a goal as good as that didn't bring anything in terms of points.”

"There were a lot of positives to take from the game. To be honest I didn't expect the players to perform as well as they did. I feel for them with the way they lost the game, because it was really painful."

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V QUEENS PARK RANGERS

TUESDAY 27TH DECEMBER, KICK-OFF 12.30PM


ALBION V CARDIFF CITY

FRIDAY 30TH DECEMBER, KICK-OFF 7.45PM



ALBION V MILTON KEYNES DONS

SATURDAY 7TH JANUARY, KICK-OFF 3PM


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