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Club News


17 December 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton admitted the nature of Chelsea’s goals knocked his team’s confidence after making a positive start to the match in yesterday’s 2-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium.

Willian pounced on a loose pass from Leon Balogun to slip Eden Hazard through on goal to make it 2-0 on 33 minutes, but Hughton felt there was hope of taking something from the match after Solly March’s second-half strike.

He said, “When you get a rhythm in the game and a goal back, and you’re in the ascendancy, particularly with some of the corners we had at the end, you think it might be your day.

“But after starting the game well, the goals knocked us, and it then became an uphill battle.

“They’re such a talented and athletic team on the ball, and it’s very difficult to get close to them.

“The first goal is a poor goal from our point of view, but they can do that. The second one is very much avoidable, and that knocked our confidence.”

Hazard laid on Chelsea’s opener for Pedro before doubling his team’s lead, and Hughton admitted that Albion were more than aware of the Belgian’s attacking threat after scoring twice at the Amex last season.

“What you see in Hazard is a world class player. We knew that, as we had previous experience of that.

“If we thought he was difficult this season, last season he was perhaps even better. When you’ve got that type of player in that type of team, it’s very difficult to get close to them.

“You need to have a good team performance, and we did get to grips with them much better in the second half than we did in the first half.”

Florin Andone and Jurgen Locadia were introduced in the second half as the Seagulls looked to mount a comeback, and Hughton commented on the competition the pair are supplying for top goalscorer Glenn Murray.

“Florin has done really well, especially at Huddersfield, not so well against Burnley, but that may have been a consequence of not playing and then having two big impacts in the games before.

“Jurgen will be aggrieved that he hasn’t played more, but we need this sort of competition going into the second half of the season — it’s what I want.”

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