The two managers reflect on Friday's match.
CHRIS HUGHTON felt the timing of Albion’s first-half goals was crucial in their 3-0 victory over Derby County on Friday night, but also believed his players could have scored more.
Anthony Knockaert opened the scoring in the fifth minute before Sam Baldock doubled the lead two minutes before half-time, and Hughton thought their goals forced the Rams to open up defensively.
He said: “It was at an important time [Knockaert’s goal]. There’s nothing better, particularly when you’re at home, than getting that early goal, because they then have to open up a little bit.
“They had to push to try and get back into the game, but they were patient and have a lot of very good players. So we had to show real resilience.
“For as long as you’re in the game, whether it’s against you or for you, they’re always big goals [Baldock’s goal]. You go into the changing room with a real lift.
“Of course at 2-0 down, they’ve got to go for it. But we chose our moments and could have had more goals.”
The Seagulls kept their 19th clean sheet of the season, and Hughton praised his team for their game management as they restricted the Rams to few opportunities.
“We limited them to minimal chances. The game management is what allowed us to get a clean sheet, and they’re a side full of quality.
“There are two sides to the game. One, offensively showing we can break and create good opportunities, but also trying to make sure you’re compact enough to stop the opposition.”
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STEVE MCCLAREN was disappointed that his team were unable to match Albion’s physicality at the Amex on Friday evening, and praised striker Glenn Murray for his performance against the Rams.
McClaren gave credit to the Seagulls for their convincing performance, but highlighted the absence of key players who missed the match through injury.
He said: “This was always going to be a test but there’s no excuses because we need to be stronger than we were on Friday.
“When Richard Keogh isn’t in the team, and I know people can moan and groan about him, but we miss him and the same can be said of Bradley Johnson.
“We never had their physicality and Brighton had it; they gave us a lesson and the boy upfront Glenn Murray was exceptional.”
The Rams boss urged his players to keep their calm and bounce back from defeat, and commended the Seagulls on their progress over recent seasons.
“When you get a lesson like that you need to learn from it and not panic. We need to keep together and kick on, in terms of the short and long term.
“That is the level we need to be at to get to where we want to be. A few years ago we were there; Brighton have gone on and we haven’t.
“We need to stay calm and together. We are calm behind the scenes and we know what we need to. We have the backing of the chairman, board and people behind the scenes as well.”