Custom Search 1

Hughton remains upbeat despite opening day loss

LOSS: Chris Hughton with Pep Guardiola (left)

WHILE HE was disappointed by the result, Brighton manager Chris Hughton could not fault his players and the way they went about their task on the pitch despite the 2-0 loss to title favourites Manchester City last night (August 12).

Playing their first Premier League match was never going to be easy, but there were enough positives for the former Newcastle United manager to have some confidence for their maiden top flight season.

The defeat came after goals from Sergio Aguero and an own goal from Lewis Dunk in a five-minute spell. However, Hughton is experienced enough to know that games like this will not define their season.

He said:

“We have to be able to work as hard as we can with what we’ve got, we’ve got a good group and I think we showed that in our way throughout the 70 minutes. Probably the one negative was that when we had the ball we could’ve kept it better and maybe for longer periods than we did. But our defensive work, I think we did that really well.

“There were certainly more positives than negatives and sometimes you go into that first game of the season against a team that hasn’t had a particularly good pre-season - well these have been exceptional - and they haven’t really picked up any injuries so they have the strongest squad available.

“Our season won’t be determined by the likes of games against City, Manchester United and Chelsea. It will be the other group and that’s where we’ve got to make sure to get our points.”

He can also take pride in City manager Pep Guardiola suggesting that the south coast side had enough strength and organisation to maintain their top flight status. The Spaniard is well-placed to know after they stifled his expensive attacking line-up for over an hour.

Hughton will hope his chairman Tony Bloom was listening as he twice reiterated the need to get more players in before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

It is clear the Seagulls boss is under no illusions about the task ahead, however the way he talked about his squad suggests he feels they have enough to remain a Premier League outfit come next May.

He added:

“You can’t change the quality we and they - the big teams - have but you are reliant on discipline, working on your shape and hopefully getting the breaks. Even the minimal chances we had in the second half, if one of them goes in it could be very different. Even if it may not have been the result we deserved.

“If you don’t believe you have a chance against the big teams there is no point turning-up and you’ve got to be optimistic that you can do things right and get the result.”

As we know the top flight is a marathon and not a sprint, it will be interesting to see where Brighton are in the race come the finish line.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments