Albion's manager reflects on a frustrating night.
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton felt tonight’s opponents deserved their 2-0 victory at Carrow Road, but also commented on the fortuitous fashion of Norwich City’s winning goals.
Two unfortunate own goals from David Stockdale gave the Canaries victory in Hughton’s first return since leaving the Canaries, but the Albion boss admitted his side weren’t good enough on the night.
He said, “I can’t say we deserved more than what we got. They moved the ball better than us. We had some decent periods in that first half, but fell short of the standards that we’ve set all season, and you cant afford to do that.
“Overall, we appreciate that there weren’t too many efforts from them. They’ve had two shots on target, and in theory they aren’t even classed as being on target.
“The second one [goal] came after a very good penalty appeal, which was turned down, and I’ve been told that it certainly was a penalty.
“They’re a good side with a lot of good players, but I don’t think we’ve played well enough. Some of that was down to the emotion of the week we’ve had.
“You can’t afford that in any game, because they’re all challenges. The two remaining games that we’ve got are certainly going to be no easier than what we had today.”
Two long-range strikes from Alex Pritchard hit the woodwork and went in off Stockdale’s back, and Hughton expressed his sympathy for Albion’s shot-stopper, who faced no shots on target throughout the game.
“They were two good strikes. It’s difficult for David because what we’ve managed to do for most of the season is restrict those type of efforts in front of our goal.
“We wasn’t able to do that today and when you give somebody of quality an opportunity there, it makes it very difficult for the goalkeeper.
“So it’s very unfortunate for David, but if you allow players that space and time, then that can happen.”
The Seagulls still require three points to clinch the Sky Bet Championship title, and Hughton is keen to secure the points needed as quickly as possible, ahead of Saturday’s game against Bristol City at the Amex.
“Today was our next game, so we’d have preferred to have done it today. I’m very disappointed, but hopefully we can be back on our game next week.
“It certainly won’t be any easier. We’re up against a Bristol City side that are fighting to get points, but we’d certainly like to do it sooner rather than later.
“We know that after next week, we’ve got a very tough game away at Aston Villa, so next week is our next, best opportunity.”