Chris Hughton reflected on a frustrating night for his side.
Brighton & Hove Albion manager felt his players were hard done by as Newcastle United scored two late goals to win 2-1 at the Amex, but gave credit to the Magpies for the quality of their match-winning strike.
The Seagulls led 1-0 until Mohamed Diame’s equalising goal in the 81st minute, before Ayoze Perez struck with just a minute of normal time remaining, and Hughton thought his team were comfortable before the scores were levelled in agonising fashion.
He said, “We know the quality that they’ve got and I think that showed with their second goal. Up until the equaliser, I thought we’d worked out the way that they play and coped with it very well.
“They threatened because of the quality that they’ve got, but I generally felt that we would hold out. It’s a really fortuitous goal that gets them back into the game.
“At that stage they’re in the ascendency, but I have to say it’s a quality goal that gets them the winner.
“It’s difficult to take because I felt we were very much in the game, although not at our best today. I still don’t think we deserved to lose.”
Glenn Murray opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half, but Hughton was left frustrated that the Seagulls came away empty-handed after creating numerous opportunities early on.
“He’s [Ciaran Clark] certainly got his arms around Glenn [Murray] and the referee’s in a very good position. That got us off to a good start, but we weren’t able to maintain it.
“We started very well and had good opportunities. Anthony Knockaert threatened and went very close on another one, but you can’t keep those levels going for 90 minutes against their quality.
“When you see the quality of the changes that they’re making and the quality they’ve got on the pitch, it’s then about securing what you've got.
“It was that one piece of real quality that undone us in the end, which makes it feel like a hard night.”
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Albion can return to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday, before Newcastle’s evening kick-off against Huddersfield Town, and Hughton urged his players to bounce back quickly.
“You have to [pick yourselves up] in this division because the games come thick and fast. We’ve got another game on Saturday, as do Newcastle. This league is unforgiving and you soon have to turn things around.”
“We’re up there for a reason. We were very close today and the players have been excellent for us. They need to pick themselves up, go again on Saturday and keep getting results."
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