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HUGHTON DELIGHTED TO PROGRESS AND AVOID CUP REPLAY

8 January 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton with assistant Paul Trollope.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton was delighted that his team were able to clinch victory in the closing stages against Crystal Palace at the Amex, to avoid an Emirates FA Cup third-round replay.

The Seagulls will take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in the fourth round, after Glenn Murray scored the winning goal in the 87th minute, following Dale Stephens’s opener and Bakary Sako’s equaliser.

With Albion looking to maintain their status as a Premier League club, Hughton was delighted to get the victory, avoid a replay at Selhurst Park and progress into the next round of the competition.

He said, “I thought we were good in the first half. They came out stronger than us in the second half, and they raised their game.

“I was confident that we wouldn't concede, and it obviously took a wonder-goal off his weaker foot to get them back on level terms.

“But I’m really delighted with the [winning] goal, because both teams don’t really want to go into a replay, so I’m delighted to go through to the next round.

“I couldn’t see it that clearly [Murray's goal], but Huenemeier rose at the back post and did really well. We had to wait until we came in [to see it again], but it’s very clear that we didn’t need VAR.”

Izzy Brown left the field injured inside the opening stages of the game at the Amex, and Hughton admitted his disappointment at seeing the likeable 21-year-old leave the action.

“It’s very unlucky and that’s what has stopped me from really enjoying tonight. He’s a young boy that I really like.

“Hopefully he’ll be okay. He’s pretty sore at the moment, but we’ll assess him tomorrow and see the extent of it.

“I was really disappointed to see him come off so early - he’s a wonderfully-young talent and a boy that I really like.”

Hughton was pleased to give a number of his first-team squad a chance to collect minutes of the pitch - but admitted the club’s main focus must be on securing their place in the Premier League for next season.

“For as much as we’d like to enjoy wherever this cup is going to take us, our priority is of course to make sure we stay in the Premier League.

“But what the victory will do is give the club a lift. For those that haven't played as much, it’s given them valuable minutes and an even bigger lift.”


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