Hughton - First Half Cost Us Against Rotherham
Manager Chris Hughton has admitted a poor first half cost us in the game yesterday against Rotherham United.
Audio - Hughton & Carayol Talk Rotherham (click here)
An early goal from the hosts inside of the opening ten minutes at the New York Stadium was enough to separate the teams come the full time whistle and Hughton's disappointment was pretty clear as he spoke to the Official Site.
'We certainly gave it a good go in that second half period and we threatened a lot. The difficulty we have at the moment is that we're struggling to score goals and if you're struggling to score goals you have to start the game better than we did. We gave away a really poor goal and we knew they're a team that were going to be desperate to get the points, so were going to press and make it more difficult for us. We needed to be better in that first-half period. In the second half, we could not have done any more tactically to turn it around, as we ended up with almost four forward players on the pitch.'
Hughton went on to say that we certainly threatened their goal but we didn't get the clear cut chances we probably need and with so few going on target we just didn't test their keeper nearly enough for something to drop for us - but that isn't really a new issue.
'We threatened and didn't get the good opportunities perhaps. Beram's was perhaps our best, but we need to start better in games and we've got to be more productive in that final third, otherwise we'll continue to put more pressure on ourselves.'
With on loan Middlesbrough winger Mustapha Carayol making his full debut for us, his effort did come in for praise from the gaffer though.
'We needed a different type of player upfront, we felt by bringing him (Best) on at half time it might give us more of a pivot point, someone that's a bit fresher. I felt we could do something in the wide areas as well. Carayol was good at times and showed pace to get beyond the defender and into good crossing positions. I thought we could benefit from that, but in the end I can't say we deserved to get anything out of the game, because our first half performance wasn't good enough.'
The main frustration for Hughton following the game was that he knew it was an opportunity to grow our nine point gap on the dropzone but we've let it slip.
'I'm annoyed because this was a real opportunity to increase that gap and what we don't want to do is keep looking behind us. We don't want to be thinking about the other teams below us. Thankfully for us it worked in our favour today, but that is not always going to happen. We've got five more games left and we want to try and finish this season in the best way we can. I have been delighted with the effort that the players have given me so far. Today was a bit of backward step because it wasn't good enough, but they know that and it's our responsibility and the team's responsibility to be better in what will be a very tough game on Friday night.'
If anything the only major positive for him was the second half reaction as he commented that he didn't feel anybody could accuse us of not trying to win the game, but it's about finding that touch and composure in the final third to get those opportunities in now.