Hughton lauds 'huge effort' from Brighton in battling FA Cup defeat

Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton. Picture courtesy of Getty Images.
Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton. Picture courtesy of Getty Images.

Chris Hughton praised the 'huge effort' displayed by his Brighton & Hove Albion side after their 1-0 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City this afternoon.

An early Gabriel Jesus goal settled the tie but the Seagulls more than matched their quadruple-chasing opposition.

Hughton was proud of his squad for their sheer endeavour in restricting Pep Guardiola's side to mere half-chances.

He said: "To run such a brilliant team like City close takes a huge effort so it's a very tired changing room in there.

"I'm struggling to think of a real clear chance that they had.

"I know they had half-chances but I don't think that would've happened to them many times this season.

"To go behind so early in the game, I can't imagine there were too many people in the stadium who didn't think that a second or a third (City goal) was coming.

"When we analyse the game and we look at our players' distances (ran) I'm sure it will be as high as any point during this season.

"To regroup after that and then, for our level, have a really good game and create chances from set-plays showed we were forceful enough to be able to get them."

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After Albion's fairytale run to the final four of the FA Cup, Brighton will return to the realities of the Premier League next weekend when they host Bournemouth on Saturday.

Burnley's 3-1 away win over Eddie Howe's side saw the Clarets leapfrog the Seagulls into 15th-place.

But Albion remain five points clear of third-from-bottom Cardiff City with a game in hand over the Welsh club.

Hughton is hoping Brighton's performance against all-conquering Manchester City can galvanise his team for the run-in.

He said: "It's been a wonderful journey and we are most happy for the club and supporters, who were brilliant.

"The Premier League is more important and Monday morning our Premier League heads will be on.

"We have got a fight on our hands and we need to make sure we get results as quickly as possible.

"It will hit home that the level we reached today is something that we need to take into the forthcoming games."