Sunday 22 October 2017

Hughton hails morale-boosting win

Brighton 3 West Brom 1

Pascal Gross of Brighton celebrates with Anthony Knockaert after scoring his second goal. Photo: Getty Images
Pascal Gross of Brighton celebrates with Anthony Knockaert after scoring his second goal. Photo: Getty Images

Nick Purewal

Chris Hughton admitted his relief at Brighton breaking their Premier League duck with a pulsating victory which eases pressure on the promoted south coast outfit, who had failed to score in their first three games.

Summer signing Pascal Gross scored twice and laid on Brighton's third for Tomer Hemed as Hughton's men stormed past an insipid West Brom.

Asked if the maiden Premier League win lifts a weight on Brighton, Hughton replied: "It probably didn't feel before the game that you needed that relief, but that is the case.

"We're four games into the season. You want to get that first win and if you don't, you don't; we've got a group of lads realistic enough to know it's going to be a tough season. But it is definitely a good feeling to get the win under our belts."

Brighton's first top-flight win since 1983 sent the home fans into raptures, with Hughton now challenging the Seagulls to capitalise on kick-starting their season.

"We got to 70 minutes against a very, very good Man City side and if we'd ­managed to hold out that would have been a key moment," he said. "It's a key moment today and we've got to keep looking for those key moments."

West Brom had only a late consolation goal from James Morrison to show for their trip. Baggies boss Tony Pulis praised the hosts' battling win but admitted many of his players were left fatigued after the international break. "To concede a goal just before half-time and a minute after half-time is a real kick in the goolies for you and it gave them a massive lift," said Pulis. "They were the better side but (goalkeeper) Ben Foster didn't really have a lot to do in the first half."

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