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HUGHTON PLEASED WITH ALBION'S WORK ETHIC

4 April 2017

The Albion manager reflected on a second home victory in four days for his side.


Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton praised the work ethic of his team after they returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship, but highlighted the fine margins in their previous two games at the Amex.

The Seagulls tightened their grip on the top two places with a 3-1 victory over Birmingham City this evening, following Saturday’s 1-0 win against Blackburn Rovers, and Hughton was pleased to collect maximum points from their back-to-back home fixtures.

He said, “Our hard work has put us in that position [top of the league], but the last two games have shown you that it can go either way.

“We were the better side on Saturday and deserved to win, but it could have gone against us.

“Probably if we hadn’t have got the early goal today, this game would have been a lot tougher and the result may have been a lot closer than what it was.

“You have to go into every game knowing that if you’re not at the levels, it can dramatically go against you.”

Glenn Murray opened the scoring in the second minute of the game, but Hughton was pleased to see his team build on their slender lead with an improved second-half performance.

“The fact that we got the early goal certainly motivates the team and lifts them.

“We then had a difficult period where we almost rested on that one, and you can’t afford to do that against anybody.

“Fortunately for us, we were better in that second-half period. It was a little bit scrappy towards the end, but we were up against a team that were trying different systems and putting talented players on. They really tested us.”

Fikayo Tomori came on to replace Lewis Dunk midway through the first half at the Amex, and Hughton was delighted with the substitute’s performance and revealed the reason behind Dunk’s departure.

“I thought he did very well. It’s a natural position for him, and whether he’ll end up at right-back, I don't know. But he’s equally as good in both positions and he’s a young player.

“It’s great experience for him, coming on at that stage of the game. There wasn’t too much time for him to think about it and he was very much tested.

“Lewis was ill yesterday, saw the doctor today and was a lot better. He felt that he was fine, but it certainly became evident in the first half that he was struggling a little bit.

“He’ll have to recover over the next couple of days and hopefully he’ll be okay for Friday’s game [v QPR].”

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