Hard Fought Forest Win For Hughton
Manager Chris Hughton has said that last night's Championship opener against Nottingham Forest was certainly a hard earned win at the Amex.
Audio - Forest Reactions
Video - Forest Highlights
A Kazenga LuaLua goal five minutes after the half time restart was really what we deserved given how the game played out but after last season it was certainly the attitude and effort, and not just the result, that Chris Hughton would've wanted.
Speaking to the Official Site following the one nil win, the gaffer explained.
'It was a tough game, but we knew it would be and if you looked at the half-time score, I thought that we edged it as regards to getting the ball in the box, but they had a couple of decent efforts themselves. We knew that it was going to be about nullifying the effective threat that they have got. They had that threat in their two wide players in particular. But we also had to play ourselves, and for the majority of the game, we got that balance right.'
Hughton went on to say that it was imperative that we remained 'resolute' and waited for our chance to come and then it was about taking them with the chances we wasted in effect, but there's still settling in to do for new players and partnerships to be worked on so he took the positives of chances coming at this stage.
'We had to be resolute and what we did for most of the pre-season is to go in a form of two upfront and that is an area which we can still develop more. It won`t be on every occasion, but it has given us a little more emphasis in that final third. We need to be scoring more goals this season than last and hopefully that will go some way towards that.'
With Gaetan Bong and Tomer Hemed making their competitive debuts for the club, he believed Hemed especially was unlucky not to have opened his account on the day, but he was pleased with the performance of both of them.
'I thought that both debutantes were excellent and they put in a real shift for the team. It was a tough evening for Bong against power and pace; whether that was Michail Antonio or Jamie Ward, but Gaetan is a good athlete and he is a strong individual. He will be a good asset for us. With Tomer, I thought that we saw the type of player that he is. He is a good all-round player and he was very unlucky with the opportunity that he had, which was a great save from their keeper.'
Our goalscorer on the day also came in for specific praise.
'With any team, if there is a vulnerability in the opposition - for example a player who is on a yellow card - then you try and benefit from that. We tried to get as much of the ball to Kazenga as possible, but he was up against a good player in Eric Lichaj, who is a strong quick full back. He had his work cut out but I thought that it was a super goal from him. The crowd were excellent and I know it means a lot to them. We could potentially have a very busy few weeks, but it is always nice to get off with a win.'
LuaLua in his own interview explained.
'The right-back got an early yellow card, so the gaffer told me that every time I got a chance I should go at him. That`s what I did and I got past him and tried a shot and I was just happy to see the ball go in the back of the net. We played very well and created many chances. We should have scored more than one, but hopefully we can improve on that.'