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26 January 2019

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Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton admitted that although his team enjoyed some positive spells of possession against West Bromwich Albion, more quality in the final third was needed to progress in the Emirates FA Cup.

The sides shared a goalless draw at the Amex Stadium, meaning a replay will now be played at the Hawthorns, and Hughton gave the Baggies credit for dealing with his team’s pressure, despite not doing enough in front of goal.

He said, “We had a lot of the ball in the final third and good opportunities to test their goalkeeper, but we didn’t do that enough.

“What became evident as the game went on, was that they were dangerous on the counter attack and we had to defend well.

“We had the bulk of possession in their half, but credit to them, they defended very well and they needed to.

“We didn’t test them enough, hence why we now go into a replay, which is probably something both teams didn’t want.”

The Seagulls will be in the fifth-round draw on Monday evening, ahead of their trip to Fulham on Tuesday, but Hughton couldn’t hide his frustration at not making the most of hosting the Baggies at the Amex.

“The positive is that we’re not out of the cup — but at this moment, we’re probably disappointed because we’re at home and we didn’t take advantage of that.

“West Brom defended well and had a game plan. They’re very good at what they do and they’re a team in very good form at the moment.

“We certainly put out a team that we felt was a strong enough to win the game, but on the balance of play, we should have made it more difficult for them.”

Dale Stephens struck the post for the Seagulls in the second half, which was followed by an incident that saw Jurgen Locadia go to ground, and Hughton was left surprised that VAR wasn’t used to award his team a penalty.

“I have no complaints with the result — West Brom worked very hard, even though I thought we were the better team on the day.

“But it was a VAR game, and my first impression at the time was that it was a penalty. The ball comes off the post and Locadia would have been in a position to get on the ball.

“He was impeded in the box and went down, so I’m really surprised that it wasn’t picked up by the VAR.”

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