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Club News


16 December 2018

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Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton looks on from the dugout.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton highlighted the quality posed by Chelsea at the Amex Stadium, but urged his players to remain positive after finishing the game strongly in their 2-1 defeat.

Solly March pulled a goal back for the Seagulls after first-half strikes from Pedro and Eden Hazard, and Hughton decided to focus on his team’s second-half reaction, as they created chances to equalise against the Blues.

He said, “We have to take the positives from how we finished the game. We were up against a very good side — whether it was at home or away, they’ve spent big money and brought in exceptional players.

“They’re a team that will be pushing at the top end of the division, so we have to understand that and respect that.

“But I thought we were in the game for large periods, and that’s what you want. I can’t fault the effort our players put in, particularly in the second half.

“We said ‘if you can get that first goal back, anything can happen’. If one of those scrambles in the last few minutes goes in, then it’s a different outcome.”

Albion found themselves two goals behind after 33 minutes on the south coast, and Hughton commented further on Chelsea’s sharpness in front of goal and Albion’s efforts to get back in the game.

“We were up against a very talented team that had two chances in the first half and scored two goals. It showed how clinical they can be.

“We started the game well, but you can’t give them the leg up of going behind, because they’ll capitalise on that.

“You’re then looking for a response and I think we gave that in the second half. We’ve left today disappointed with the result, but overall we’re not disappointed with the performance.”

Marcus Alonso received a yellow card for tugging back March in the closing stages, when the winger looked to be racing through on goal, and Hughton felt the Spaniard was lucky to remain on the pitch.

“Having seen it again, I think some referees would have given it, but I can see the doubt in it.

“But there’s no doubt that Alonso should have been on a yellow card anyway. He pulled back Anthony Knockaert, which is always a yellow card.

“With that being a yellow card, the second incident should have been a sending off. Those are my thoughts at the moment.”

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