Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton expressed his satisfaction at claiming a first Premier League clean sheet of 2018 in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Burnley.
The goalless stalemate was the first time Albion had kept a defensive shut-out in the league since a 0-0 draw away at Newcastle United on 30th December, and Hughton praised the way his side combatted Burnley’s attacking threats.
He said, “I was particularly pleased with this clean sheet because we came up against a very good Burnley side that are quite direct in the way they play.
“They have two upfront with two good, strong and aggressive players that play to their strengths.
“You need have to have a defence that wants to defend and centre-halves that want to compete. It’s difficult because at times you’re going to give away fouls, which we did and they have a big threat from set plays.
“We had to defend well as a team, I am just a bit disappointed that we didn’t make more of the spaces that we found.”
Hughton admits it has been hard to strike the balance of being more clinical away from home, as well as being defensively resolute.
“It’s difficult. Could we score more goals? Yes, but we could let in a lot more too.
“For a newly-promoted team, it’s very difficult to get the balance. Generally it’s the quality that gets you goals, but it’s very difficult.
“It’s so hard to have both [being clinical and defending well]. It doesn’t happen often.”
Up next for the Seagulls is the visit of Manchester United to the Amex, and the Albion boss feels his side can take confidence from their two performances against the so-called big six in general.
“You have to look forward to that challenge. The next one is at home to Manchester United and we’ve had two very good away performances against them.
“At this moment, we haven’t really been embarrassed by the big six clubs. We lost 4-0 at home to Chelsea and at 5-1 at home to Liverpool, but it was probably only the Liverpool game where they showed their quality.
“We’re going to have show our qualities in the next games and believe we can get more points.”