Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton insists his players must stay upbeat despite opening the season with successive defeats, and backed them to prove their quality in the weeks ahead.
The Seagulls have begun the campaign with back-to-back 2-0 defeats to Manchester City and Leicester City, but Hughton believes his team will soon improve, as they search for their first points of the season.
“I know our players can play better than what we have and I know they will play better than what they did on Saturday.
“Most will accept that when you play against Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, they are at a completely different level.
“But there is a big group of teams in the level below that we need to make sure we get closer to.”
Harry Maguire scored after the break to extend Leicester City’s advantage on Saturday afternoon, and Hughton felt his players could have offered more going forward, especially with the game at 1-0.
“We certainly wasn’t at the level that we need to be on the ball, but we stuck in there and at 1-0 you’ve still got a chance.
“It’s more difficult at 2-0, certainly when you concede from a set-play, it then becomes very, very difficult to get a result. It always becomes an uphill battle.
“We didn't really make their keeper work, even though we had little periods where we got into good areas. We had good crossing positions and we never made the most of them.”
Anthony Knockaert received a warm welcome after appearing as a second-half substitute at the King Power Stadium, and Hughton gave his reasons behind starting with the Frenchman on the bench.
“Knockaert was close (to starting), the only reason I didn’t (start him) was because he had a different pre-season to everyone else.
“He didn’t play a full 90 minutes over the whole pre-season period but he has had an input today, an input in the last game, and what we do have now is a midweek game.
“I will use the players that I need to use in that midweek game and then look to pick a team for next Saturday.”