Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton admitted that it took falling behind to Southampton on Saturday for his side to find their rhythm and start to create chances.
Pierre-Emerick Hjobjerg’s second half finish was the difference between the two sides in the 1-0 defeat at the Amex Stadium, and the boss reflected honestly on a frustrating afternoon.
He said, “I just think we weren’t good enough on the ball and they were better than us on it.
“If you build your confidence on the ball, or you don’t play well in the first half period and it changes in the second half then something might open up, you might score and possibly take the lead when you don’t deserve to - that’s what we were hoping for.
“Generally, I think they were better than us in that first-half period and we needed to be better in the second half - unfortunately it probably took a goal against to lift our game and certainly lift our game with regards to getting a goal to get back on level terms to give us a chance of winning it.”
Albion travel to face Chelsea on Wednesday evening at Stamford Bridge, and the boss stressed that he’d be looking for a response from his players in the capital.
“A reaction is what we spoke about afterwards, I never felt we were safe before the game, I always knew it would be a scrap,” he continued.
“All the teams around us are fighting - I know that Huddersfield have gone down today [Saturday], but everybody is still giving everything.
“We still have to play AFC Bournemouth and Cardiff City here and I don’t expect those games to be any easier than today – we know we have to be better for those matches.”
The manager introduced Jurgen Locadia for fellow Dutchman Davy Propper during the second half, and the manager spoke about the thinking behind the decision, as well as the boost the victory would give the Saints.
“It was a tactical choice because we were going 4-4-2 with Jurgen [Locadia] up top.
“It was between taking Davy Propper and Yves Bissouma, and at that moment when we needed to get back in the game, I thought Bissouma might possibly produce something.
“People talk about a six-pointer and there’s no such thing as that, but mentally you’ve got a team that were three points below us who are now on the same points - so it’s a massive win for them and psychologically, it’s a blow for us.”