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HUGHTON: WE COULD HAVE TAKEN MORE

10 February 2018

Bennett Dean
Chris Hughton

Despite late heroics from a handful of Brighton & Hove Albion’s players at the bet365 Stadium, Chris Hughton still felt his team could have taken more than a point from their 1-1 draw against Stoke City this afternoon.

Mathew Ryan produced a 90th-minute penalty save from Charlie Adam, before Lewis Dunk managed to intervene with a fantastic last-ditch tackle to deny a follow-up effort from the Stoke midfielder.

Anthony Knockaert headed off the line for the Seagulls in the dying seconds of the game - however, aside from the late drama, Hughton felt his players created the better opportunities.

He said, “At this moment, it feels like two points dropped. We were up against a good Stoke side who are in good form, and they play on the front foot, but I thought we had the better chances in the game.

“We threatened and got into some good areas. In [Xherdan] Shaqiri, they’ve got a quality player that can get that type of delivery in and his quality showed on the goal.

“Unless you’re one of the big boys, it’s impossible to come here and dominate a game for 90 minutes.

“We knew we’d have spells in that second half where we’d be under pressure, but we dealt with most things really well and restricted them to minimal clear chances.

“In the end, we had to save a penalty - which I felt was certainly not a penalty. We feel a little bit hard done by - but I’m hoping that come the end of the season, we can look at this as a good point.”

Dale Stephens was penalised after making soft contact with Jese Rodriguez inside the box, and Hughton gave his thoughts on Bobby Madley’s controversial decision to point to the spot.

“It’s incredibly soft - there’s two players holding each other and the lad [Jese] goes down very easily. It was the type of holding that you see in the box all the time.

“If anything, Dale’s just tried to push him off. It was very harsh, particularly when you’ve got two players grappling and the lad himself is holding Dale.

“If there’s a reason why you should have players following [penalties] up, then Lewis [Dunk] showed exactly that reason why.

“That set the tone for when we came in, because we felt very hard done by with the penalty. The fact we saved it and stopped the rebound almost feels like a bit of justice.”

Jose Izquierdo scored his second goal in as many games to give Albion the lead in the opening stages of the game, and Hughton praised the Colombian for his continued progress in the side.

“As each week and game goes by, he’s adapting really well to this game and we know he can score a goal. He had a very good goalscoring record in Belgium for somebody that plays in the wide positions.

“It’s not just about scoring goals, it’s about playing for a side that you know are going to be under pressure, particularly away from home. He’s working really well for the team.”


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