Brighton boss Hughton: 'We didn't show enough quality to get goals'

Chris Hughton rued Brighton & Hove Albion's lack of a cutting edge after a 2-0 home defeat to Cardiff City saw Albion well and truly mired in a Premier League relegation battle.

Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 9:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 12:47 pm
Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography.

Goals from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Sean Morrison sealed victory for the 18th-placed Bluebirds and meant the gap between them and the fourth-from-bottom Seagulls was cut to a mere two points.

The stats from the game also make for grim viewing for Hughton's side.

The Seagulls enjoyed 64 per cent of the possession but could only muster two shots on target from their 14 attempts overall.

Brighton have also lost three consecutive home league games for the first time since January 2016, and only relegated sides Fulham (six) and Huddersfield Town (four) have won fewer Premier League points in 2019 than Albion (eight).

Hughton said: "It was a game we came into confident of winning and we were looking for a reaction from Saturday.

"I thought we started the game really well. I thought we began with intent but as the game went on, we didn't threaten the keeper enough.

"For all our play in the final third we certainly didn't show enough quality to get goals.

"When they get their goal, it lifts them and gives them a cause to play the way they play and do what they do very well.

"It was then a question of us scoring the goals that were going to get us back into the game but at the moment we're finding that part hard."

On the ten minute mark Albion had a strong penalty appeal waved away. Lewis Dunk looked to be hauled down in the box by Bruno Ecuele Manga from a Pascal Gross free-kick but referee Andre Marriner did not point to the spot.

Hughton was adamant that Marriner should have awarded the penalty.

He added: "At the time I wasn’t sure, but I’ve seen it since and for me, yes, it is a definite penalty."

Brighton were undone by two lapses in concentration that proved to be costly.

First Davy Propper was dispossessed in has own half in the lead up to Mendez-Laing's first-half goal. Then the Seagulls' defence completely switched off, allowing Morrison to head home to make it 2-0 from Victor Camarasa's free-kick in the second-half.

While both goals were met with the ire of Hughton, the Seagulls boss was left most disappointment with the manner in which they conceded the second.

He added: "At that stage there was still a good 70-yards for him (Mendez-Laing) to run. I was more disappointed with the second goal because we’ve been good on set-plays.

"They’ve got a couple of aggressive centre-halves and generally we’ve defended set-plays well.

"The second goal gave them that huge lift going into that stage of the game."