Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton accepted the quality of Manchester City’s counter-attacking play, but couldn’t hide his disappointment at the second goal his team conceded in their 2-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
Raheem Sterling finished off a quick move in the opening half to give City the lead, but Hughton felt more could have been done to prevent Sergio Aguero’s strike after the break which made the contest more comfortable for Pep Guardiola’s team.
“But I thought we were in the game for long periods. There isn’t a team outside of the top six that comes here without having a defensive strategy.
“The two goals that we conceded were poor goals. The first one was a really good counter-attack and that can happen.
“People will look at the quality of the second goal, but it was defendable. If I’m looking from a midfield position, we should have done far better to stop that ball getting into the final stages.
“I’m more disappointed with the second goal. At 1-0 we were in the game and you never know what can happen.”
Albion had claims for a penalty turned down in the closing stages, as the ball struck Fernandinho on the arm inside the box, and Hughton gave his thoughts on the incident.
“My opinion is that it was a penalty. It definitely hits his hand inside the box, and probably any frustrations I have are because of the penalty last week.
“We had a penalty given against us - a Glenn Murray handball, which I had no problems with - but when you come here, you need as much to go for you as possible. For me, it was a definite penalty.”
The Seagulls now have nine fixtures before their next meeting with one of last season’s top six, and Hughton identified the immediate period of matches as an important chunk of the campaign.
“You do have to take that into perspective. We’ve played four of last season’s top six and our first game was away to Watford, and they’ve started the season really well.
“We now go into a series of games which are against non-top-six teams, and that’s where we have to pick up points. This is probably going to be the most valuable part of our season.
“We need to make sure that in the games against teams outside of the top six, we give ourselves the best chance of picking up points.”