Hughton may never watch THAT goal again as he backs ‘excellent’ stopper Stockdale

Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale. Picture by PW Sporting Pics
Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

Chris Hughton has said he may never re-watch the goal that cost Brighton & Hove Albion the Championship title and backed an ‘excellent’ David Stockdale.

The Seagulls missed out on the title thanks to an 89th-minute Jack Grealish equaliser on a dramatic final day in the Championship on Sunday.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton

Already promoted Newcastle United and Albion were slugging it out for crowning glory and Hughton’s side were moments away from taking that accolade thanks to Glenn Murray’s second-half penalty.

But having pulled off a number of fine stops in the afternoon, Stockdale was beaten late on as the ball slipped through his legs from substitute Grealish’s effort.

That sent the title to St James’ Park, but Hughton has said there is absolutely no blame on his out-of-contract stopper, who has been a stand-out performer this season.

The Albion boss commented: “That’s the life of a goalkeeper. He has been excellent for us all season and he has made two very good saves from the free kicks before. There are always processes before the ball even gets to him, could someone have done better and stopped the shot?

“There is never any proportion of blame, he is a goalkeeper that has been excellent for us all season. When things don’t happen we have to accept it as a team and take responsibility as a team.

“In all honesty I have not seen the goal again. I may do at one stage, then again, I might decide not to. For us the season is finished, we have achieved our goal and I think sometimes you have to put into context what the achievement is.

“We are playing in a division where there are some very big teams. There are some teams that have spent big money and we have managed to come along with Newcastle in the top two.

“At this moment, I prefer to focus on the achievement than looking back on yesterday’s game. I know I will feel that way tomorrow and the next day as now we have a Premier League season to prepare for.”