Albion's manager was frustrated to miss out on another chance to secure the title.
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton felt it was important to separate the emotions of celebrating a fine season for the football club, and the disappointment of losing 1-0 to Bristol City this evening.
The Seagulls missed out on the chance of securing the Sky Bet Championship title at the Amex, with victory at Villa Park now needed to seal top spot, and Hughton reflected on Albion’s missed opportunity after the players enjoyed a lap of honour.
He said, “What we have to do is separate the two [lap of honour and losing]. What we saw with the lap of honour was about the season, the supporters and club thanking the players, and vice versa.
“The supporters have been magnificent all season. But there is disappointment because we’ve had two opportunities to clinch the title, and now we’ve got a very tough game away to Aston Villa.
“There’s no doubt that we were the better side today, if any team was going to score it was going to be us. We had a lot of attempts and crosses; we probably couldn’t have put in any more crosses in that second-half period.
“We just lacked that little bit of quality and probably made it too easy for them to defend. They’ve got two big centre-halves who are good at what they do, and we didn’t put them and the goalkeeper under enough pressure.
“Sometimes that happens. We’ve had a good week of training, recovered well from the last game and there was a good feel before the game, but it didn’t quite happen today.”
Albion’s defeat came after last Friday’s 2-0 loss against Norwich City at Carrow Road, and Hughton expressed his frustration as the Seagulls were unable to bounce back with victory at the Amex.
“Generally, when we’ve had a disappointing result, we’ve bounced back from it. The last couple of games we haven’t been able to do that.
“But how much of that is down to being promoted early and the emotional feeling, they’re the things you don’t know, but on the balance of play today, we should have won the game.
“We conceded a poor goal in the first half that wasn’t like us, and we didn’t make the most of the opportunities we had and the areas we got into.”
Victory for Hughton’s team against Aston Villa next Sunday will secure top spot ahead of Newcastle United, and the Albion boss urged his players to produce an improved display to clinch the league title.
“It’s still very much in our hands, and it’s a big one for us. Having gained promotion, the big feeling that’s very close to that is winning the title.
“That would mean everything to this group of lads and this football club. We have a week to prepare and we’ll have to show better quality than what we did today, because we’re against another team in good form.”