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HUGHTON PROUD DESPITE OPENING DAY DEFEAT

12 August 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton expressed his pride after his players held Manchester City for 70 minutes, but conceded two goals in quick succession to lose 2-0 in their opening Premier League game.

Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock for the visitors after the Seagulls had frustrated their opponents, and Hughton assessed the performance of his team, who were eventually undone in the closing stages.

He said, “It was always going to be difficult. We were up against a team of world-class players who have eyes on winning the Champions League, but I was really proud of what I saw in the first 70 minutes.

“You can only play one way against that type of quality, and that’s making sure you’re compact and not giving away too much space.

“Probably the one time that we allowed ourselves to be stretched was in the 70th minute and their quality capitalised on it.

“It’s difficult over 90 minutes because they’re going to get something. I was very proud of what I saw today but we just needed a little more quality on the ball.”

City enjoyed large spells of possession at the Amex, as Hughton’s men had to remain patient, and the Albion boss took confidence from his team’s battling performance.

“One thing we will certainly do is evaluate the game and look at the positives. At this moment, for me, there are more positives than negatives.

“We have to think about the quality that we were up against. If they want to keep possession for a long period of the game, then there aren't too many teams that will stop them.

“When we had those moments to keep possession, they pressed very well because they’re a high-energy side.”

“When you play these types of teams, when that clock’s running down - 50, 60, 70 minutes - you’re just so delighted that you’re still in the game.

Hughton also gave an update on Izzy Brown after the winger went off injured in the first half, before speaking about the positive performances of Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk, who scored an unfortunate own goal.

“I’m hoping that it’s a bit of fatigue [Brown’s injury], because he’s played a lot of games lately. It’s in the hamstring area, so we’ll assess that one. We’ll certainly know more in the morning.

“If that had been the only goal, then it would have been a tougher moment for him. Before that he’d put in a usual Lewis Dunk performance, and I thought both centre halves were very good.”


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