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MANAGERS' VIEWS: HUGHTON AND WASSALL

3 May 2016

The post-match reaction from Albion's draw with Derby.


CHRIS HUGHTON is urging his players to bounce back from the frustration of drawing with Derby County, going into Saturday’s final game of the season against Middlesbrough.

The Albion manager believes the quick turnaround in games will be beneficial for his side and he also praised Derby for their performance on the day.

He said, “Our focus this week has to be about picking the players up. I don’t think it will be too difficult because we don’t have too much time before the next game.

“We’ve been good away from home for the large majority of this season and certainly if I look at the teams that are right up there in Derby and Burnley, we haven’t lost to either of them.

“Now we need to take it a step further. It’s a big task and we know that, but it’s a task that’s not impossible.

“They [Derby] had a very good shape about them and there is no doubt they’re a good team. They were a team that was fancied for automatic promotion, so we knew they were in good form and that they have good players. They made it hard for us when we had possession and they had periods where they countered very well.”

Hughton weighed up the pros and cons of playing such a huge game away from home and hopes that James Wilson’s equaliser could prove to be vital from a psychological perspective.

“I’m delighted that we got that goal at the end because while it doesn’t mean too much, it is another game that we haven’t lost and allows us to go Saturday's game with a little bit more momentum.

“There’s more expectation on them [Middlesbrough], but if you were in a position needing to win a game, you’d rather be at home. They’re the obvious things that makes them favourites on the day.”

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DARREN WASSALL hailed a superb performance from his side following yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Brighton.

James Wilson’s stoppage-time equaliser denied the Rams all three points in a gripping encounter at the Amex, but Derby’s head coach was full of admiration for his team.

He told RamsPlayerHD, “We’re gutted about conceding the goal in the last minute, but that is all we are gutted about today.

“From start to finish, as the game went on, I thought we were absolutely magnificent.

“I was really pleased to see Andi Weimann step off the substitutes' bench and score with one of his first touches. It came from a great through-ball from Will Hughes and I felt we thoroughly deserved to take the lead.

“It was just a shame that we couldn’t get the second because that really would have put the game to bed.

“I’m gutted for the defenders and the whole team because we deserved a clean sheet away from home."

Wassall says the match fills him with excitement heading into the play-offs, as Derby aim to pip Hull to fourth place.

“It’s some feat to come to Brighton, a side that have been scoring goals for fun, and play like that - it is very, very pleasing. That’s an understatement and it bodes well for the play-offs.

“It’s about us and how we perform. If we perform in the play-offs how we did today and over the last six games, then I am very confident in this group of players.”


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