Hughton: "We needed to keep the lead for longer"
Pep Guardiola and Chris Hughton greeting each other before kick-off. Image courtesy of Mike Hewitt on Getty Images.

Hughton: "We needed to keep the lead for longer"

The Brighton boss felt his sides chances were dented by how long they kept the lead for.

Adam Stenning

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton was clear his side needed to keep their lead longer after losing 4-1 at home to Manchester City.

Glenn Murray had given Brighton the lead with his 14th goal of the season, in the 27th minute, but City replied straight away and Hughton said: “What we certainly needed to do was keep that lead for longer than we did. I thought it was a little bit fortunate with the way the ball ran for them, but at 1-0 and 1-1 you need to stay in the game for longer.

“You know it’s going to be an onslaught, but if you can keep that score-line until half-time, they’re going to make changes and open up.

“But with the quality they’ve got, it becomes hard work. When they have that level of quality in the team, they find the moments that can really hurt you.

“For a good period of the game, we were able to give them a good game and that’s what I wanted, but the fact their equaliser was so quick after our goal, that really hurt us.”

Hughton on the season

Hughton also looked back on Albion's second season in the Premier League: “It means everything [staying in the Premier League]. At the start of the season we would have settled for staying in the division and getting to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

“We’ve had a difficult last period — we picked ourselves up towards the end, but certainly for the bulk of the season we were in a decent position, but maybe not playing as well as we would have liked.

“As a manager and a coach, you always want more. I would tend to view where we could have done better, and maybe we can be a little disappointed with where we’ve finished.

“The summer will be a big summer for us, as is every summer. We’ll analyse what we can do better. One obvious area is goals, that’s the area where we know we’ve fallen short.”

Bruno a pleasure to work with

The Brighton manager, also spoke about Bruno's career after he made the last appearance of his career against City: “I’ve been in the game a long time and worked with some great captains — the first one I worked with as a player was Steve Perryman, who was probably as good a captain as I’ll ever meet.

“But I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bruno for the last four years, he’s a different type of personality, he’s hugely respected in the dressing room for how he conducts himself.

“He’s been that wonderful go-between between me and the players. He’s helped me a lot in my time here and the send-off for him was thoroughly deserved.”