Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton highlighted the quick start made by his players in their 3-1 victory over Coventry City in the Emirates FA Cup, which gave their opponents an uphill battle to progress to the quarter-finals.
Goals from club-record signing Jurgen Locadia and Connor Goldson put Albion on their way, before Leonardo Ulloa headed a third after the break - and Hughton praised his team for having the right attitude at the Amex Stadium.
“We wanted to start fast and take the sting out of their game, particularly if we could score early and build on that.
“It was always going to be about application - I can’t fault ours, we very much played on the front foot and wanted to get an early lead.
“The first goal deflated them a little bit - it was a super goal and one for Jurgen [Locadia] to get off the mark.
“Leo’s [Ulloa] goal is what he can do - he’s a target man and wants to get into the box. He’s the type of striker that if you provide a service for him, he’ll have opportunities to score.”
Locadia broke the deadlock for Albion after just 15 minutes on his debut for the club, and although Hughton was pleased to see him hit the ground running, he commented on the striker’s all-round performance.
“It’s always good to get that first goal as quickly as you can, but his [overall] contribution was more important.
“He hasn't played for the best part of a couple of months now, and we didn’t want to take any chances in that last period.
“We’re still learning about him - because what you can do is watch a player as much as possible, but you don’t really know a player until you get him through the front door and work with him.
“He’s quite flexible in the areas and positions that he’s played. He’s used to playing up top and has played in a 4-3-3 - and as you saw at times, he drifted out onto the left-hand side.”
Victory for the Seagulls sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup - the first time since 1986 - and Hughton showed his delight towards reaching the final eight, before speaking about the positive mood in the camp.
“It’s one [competition] that we wanted to make progress in. For as much as we can all say about the FA Cup and the Premier League, and how important that is, don’t take anything away from this competition.
“It’s enabled us to use the squad because we have a lot of competition at the moment. Thankfully, we haven't had too many injuries and it’s enabled us to have a really tight squad.
“Most players have played games, and certainly when you’ve got that type of situation, it makes it a happy environment.”