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HUGHTON: WE WERE THE BETTER SIDE

30 December 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Chris Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton felt his team were the better side in this afternoon’s 0-0 draw against Newcastle United at St James’ Park, but was frustrated that they couldn't capitalise on their better periods of the game.

The Seagulls were unable to break the deadlock despite positive spells of possession against the Magpies, and Hughton identified an area of the game in which his team can improve.

He said, “In both halves we had really good periods of possession - balls into the box and we looked threatening - and they’re the moments when you need to score.

“It can alleviate the pressure. The timing of your goals have to be in your better periods, and perhaps that’s where we’ve got to improve.

“There was also that fear that you can lose a game that you don’t deserve to lose. It was a difficult game and it’s never an easy one here [at St James' Park].

“There weren’t many chances in it, and you could probably sense that little bit of nervousness in front of goal from both sides.

“But I thought we were the better side over the 90 minutes. We were certainly worthy of the point and perhaps deserved that little bit more.”

Albion are without an away goal in five games after today’s goalless draw against Rafa Benitez’s team, and Hughton highlighted the learning curve that his players are experiencing in England’s top flight.

“We deserve to be here, there’s no doubt about that, but what we are finding is the qualities in this division.

“It’s harder to score and you’ve got to play at a level to get points. When you play against top teams, it’s very, very difficult.

“All you want is to at least be in each game, and we’ve managed to do that. We lost heavily against Liverpool, and anybody can do that, but we’ve been in every other game.”

Mathew Ryan made a couple of fine stops to keep Albion’s clean sheet intact, and Hughton praised the Australian shot-stopper for his performances this season, after helping the Seagulls to an eighth shutout of the campaign.

“He’s had to do that on numerous occasions this season. Even in games where we’ve been quite good and he hasn’t had too much to do, he’s still had to pull out one or two really good saves.

“He’s settled in really well and it’s another clean sheet for him, the back four and the entire team.”


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