Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton praised the performance of his defensive quintet following Saturday's hard-fought 1-0 victory over Newcastle United.
Albion’s four-man defence and Maty Ryan played a pivotal part in a superb all-round team performance to seal a first away victory of the season for the side, and the boss highlighted the contribution of all five games after the game in the north east.
He said, “Our two central defenders were outstanding, as was the whole of the back four and the goalkeeper.
“You know what you’ll get from those two and they’re the type who are happy to head crosses into the box away from danger.
“They’ll put their bodies on the line and get in the way of the ball and to get this type of victory away from home it’s exactly what you need.”
The Seagulls took the lead just shy of the half hour mark when Beram Kayal deflected Jose Izquierdo’s shot into the net, and Hughton reflected on the subsequent pattern of the contest on Tyneside.
“We were up against a larger number of shots and efforts than I would usually anticipate in a typical game, and that’s because the home side were desperate to get a result.
“It meant we had to grind the victory out and sometimes this type of game can see a fortunate moment either way change things to turn the tide.
“With the way the game went we were always threatening on the break, and we had arguably the best opportunity towards the end of the game.”
Saturday's result leaves Newcastle bottom of the Premier League, but Hughton is backing his former club to rise up the table.
“I think it’s a spell that most managers go through with a tough run of form – eventually what happens is it turns around – they did just that last season and finished in tenth place.
“One thing that’s obvious is their quality on the pitch – any difficult period they have you’d have to think they can turn it around.
“They have a series of games now which aren’t against any of the top six, and so I’m sure they’ll be fine.”