Hughton Praises Team Character
Manager Chris Hughton has praised the character of the side following the comeback victory over Charlton Athletic yesterday.
Having now gone unbeaten in 20 matches despite having found ourselves two nil down inside of the opening five minutes, a second half comeback with goals coming from James Wilson, Bobby Zamora and Tomer Hemed, gave the gaffer plenty to smile about at full time.
Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, Hughton didn't hide the fact he was less than happy with the opening 45 minutes performance, but he couldn't have been more delighted with the way the players responded after the half time break.
'It was an incredible game but a strange first half by our standards. We could not have started any poorer that what we did. There were a few things to address at half-time. We needed to be patient on the ball, and not to be too gung-ho; trying to get two goals back in the first five minutes. We told the players Charlton were good enough to hit us on the counter and we could not afford to get caught again. We had two upfront and two wingers, so we had to be careful about throwing too many players forward. We said we needed to work our way back with possession, getting into good areas, but most importantly we needed to show real character in that second half and make amends. I asked the players to show how desperate we were not to lose that football match; but they have shown tremendous character all season, and today they showed even more desire and character to go on and win the game.'
With Charlton suffering a red card in the game to their defender Patrick Bauer, Hughton didn't feel they could argue with him hauling down Zamora as he was clean through ahead of getting his marching orders.
'Sometimes the momentum goes for you and the sending off had some effect as well, but over the 90 minutes we had to show character and we edged it and deserved it. Once you have got one goal the momentum does change. The crowd got louder and we knew that we would have a chance if we got the one goal back, and that is how it played out. You can never guarantee that you will get a second, and a third, but the momentum was there and it was certainly an entertaining second half of football.'
With on loan Manchester United youngster Wilson getting his first Brighton goal since coming in the other week, he came in for praise, as did the other two goalscorers on the day - and he also explained that Hemed was out of the starting line up so he could have a rest and recharge and hopefully turn his own performances into more goals in the process.
'There is more to come from James. He is somebody who has been training but has not played so many games, and the type of tempo that these Championship games are played at it is probably a step up for him. It was a really good introduction for him and I was delighted with his goal. That is why we leave someone like him on the football pitch when we are looking for ways to get back into the game. It is always a tough decision when you leave players out as Tomer has been excellent for us. He has found it difficult to convert his performances into getting goals. I told him in midweek once I had made a decision to leave him out, but said that it was very much a question of resting him as opposed to dropping him, because he has been excellent for us. I said that it might be a case of getting one off the bench and that might be the goal he needs to get going again.'
'Nobody felt that more than him. He has gone through a barren spell, but that is not down to his work ethic or him not making good runs. It is just those small margins between scoring and not scoring goals. Everybody was pleased for him.'