Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believed his team were the “better side” as they defeated fierce rivals Crystal Palace 2-1 in the FA Cup third round.
Albion striker and former Palace man Glenn Murray prodded in the winner with just three minutes remaining to set up a fourth round tie away to Championship side Middlesbrough.
Murray’s winner initially appeared to glance in via his arm, although TV replays showed that was not the case. Hughton claimed there was “absolutely no confusion” over the goal, which came after Bakary Sako equalised for Palace.
Hughton said, “I did think we deserved to win it. We certainly had the better chances throughout the game. They (Palace) only had one period of control just at the start of the second half.”
He continued, “I don’t think a replay would have benefitted either side. Probably more so for Palace who have quite a few injuries.”
Hughton pleased for scorer Stephens and denies links to striker pair
Dale Stephens opened the scoring on 25 minutes, his first goal of the season, and Hughton felt the midfielder and stand-in captain “deserved” his goal. He added on the Albion goalscorer, “I’m pleased for Dale. His role is different in this division (the Premier League) because he’s usually a box-to-box player.”
Hughton also commented on potential signings. Brighton failed to sign a striker in the summer transfer window and have had to rely on Murray and Tomer Hemed since August with Sam Baldock missing the majority of the season through injury. The Seagulls have been linked with moves for Everton’s Oumar Niasse and Celtic’s Moussa Dembele but Hughton said that at the moment these names are just “links” and that the club have not submitted any bids for either of the pair.