Chris Hughton has admitted that the "overriding factor" of Saturday's 2-0 loss against Huddersfield Town is "disappointment" as Brighton & Hove Albion dropped down to 13th in the Premier League table.
Two first half Steve Mounié goals from initial corners were enough to topple The Seagulls, but both goals demonstrated uncharacteristic, sloppy defending from the visitors.
"The better team won"
A visibly disappointed Chris Hughton addressed the media, stating that certain emotion was exactly how he was feeling:
“Incredibly disappointed. These are a good side, a very good side at home. We know them very well and if you afford them the goals we did it becomes very difficult to come back from that. In this division, things are so tight especially away from home, and you have got to play at a level to be able to come back from that, but to afford them the goals we did never allowed ourselves to get into the rhythm that we needed to.
"So certainly, the better team won today but the two goals, particularly the first one, was the most disappointing.”
Brighton expected a tough game
Hughton was reluctant to say whether the performance was a hangover from the Liverpool thrashing last weekend:
“It is always difficult to say. We knew coming here was not going to be an easy game and we knew to get something here we would have to do the things we are good at, and what we are good at is we are quite a compact side and work our way into games and capitalise on the spaces but we never gave ourselves a chance.
"As a regard to a hangover, no I do not know, I just know we did not play well enough today to win the game.”
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Gareth Southgate was in the building
The England manager was watching from the stands, which raised Lewis Dunk's top 2017-18 form:
“Yes, I would [suggest today was an off-day for him]. Dunk has been very good for us all season and he has not only been good for us all season, but he is a player that has developed very well over the last few seasons. That means he has become more mature as a player, he is very aware of the qualities he has got and all you can ask for is an improvement over the years and he has certainly done that.”
Seagulls simply not good enough
The Brighton manager was gracious enough to concede his team were simply not good enough on the day:
“No, I think everybody is going to make an assessment of the games and I do not think I can look at any of our players and say that there was a particular player who stood out and had that good a game. We were not good enough today and that includes all of us, myself included, I managed the team that were not good enough today to get a result.”
Hughton doesn't always expect a good performance
Hughton admitted that he doesn't always expect good performances from his newly-promoted side, but insisted there's always a game plan that needs to be followed in order to get results:
“I think there are a lot of occasions, especially away from home, where you are not at your best and there have been other games, like Swansea away where we get a result, and I thought we were okay at Swansea, not dramatically good, but okay.
"You do not have to be at your best to get a result, but what you need to do as much as possible is keep clean sheets, whether the storm and take any advantages you can.
"So, again, more disappointed with the goals, but we are not going to perform well, particularly away from home, every game, and you just hope that in the games where you do not perform so well that you can keep a clean sheet and limit the chances of the opposition.”
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Limited positives to take away
“At the moment, probably the overriding factor is disappointment that we just didn’t do enough. I thought we had a decent spell in the second half where the game opened up a bit, but unfortunately when the game opens up a little bit, it also opens up for them, and they have got some good players in that type of environment.
"So, I did not think there were many positives today, the fact that we were away from home and at 2-0 when the game opened up, there is always the fear that it could be more than that. So, I think we settled down into the game and showed some good quality at times, but not enough today.”
No Knockaert a tactical decision
Last season's EFL Championship Player of the Year Anthony Knockaert was a surprise exlusion to the squad, but his manager explained the tactical decision:
“No, I made a decision because the way they play with the full-backs playing high and wide meant we had to be very compact today. In our normal game and how we play with two out-and-out wingers, there are lots and lots of positives from it but it also could leave you a little bit open, particular away from home and against a really expansive team.
"So, I just wanted to be a little bit more compact, certainly the team formation did not have anything to do with the result or the two goals that we conceded. Anthony [Knockaert] was here but I made the decision to leave him out.
"He has played a lot of games as a high intensity player and we have a squad at the moment that is very competitive and pushing and we are going to have to use it over some very hard games.”