BRENTFORD boss Mark Warburton accused his defence of “taking liberties” as they crashed out of the FA Cup to Chris Hughton’s Brighton.
The Seagulls went into the hat for the fourth round courtesy of late goals from Lewis Dunk and Chris O’Grady, after Brentford had dominated much of the encounter.
New Brighton manager Hughton was delighted to make a winning start, and following the 2-0 victory he is hoping for a home clash with a Premier League outfit next.
Opposite number Warburton was left disappointed with his side’s inability to convert his many chances.
“We were excellent in the first half and played with good tempo but we lacked the clinical edge that would have brought us our rewards,” Warburton said.
“We missed chances and then got slack at the back and it gave them a little bit of hope. If you don’t do what you do well and lose that is poor. Again the statistics are very good but we have to put the ball in the net.”
Bees striker Andre Gray was guilty of a string of missed chances, but Warburton was quick to take the pressure off the former Conference striker.
“Everyone looks at Andre Gray but we go forward with five, six or seven players and it’s not just about Andre Gray,” Warburton said.
Warburton was not so sparing with his defenders, adding: “I think we started taking liberties.”
Dunk’s glancing header from the impressive Solly March’s whipped free-kick knocked the wind out of Brentford’s sails, and their exit was complete when O’Grady reached a hopeful Adam Chicksen clearance and fired home to seal the win.
Hughton said: “It’s a great confidence boost to come
here and win. We know their form of the last couple of games hasn’t been great but they have had a super season and you can see what a good side they are.”
The former Norwich and Newcastle manager added: “I need to assess what I have and although you know most players you won’t generally [know them all] until you work with them at close quarters.”
Hughton admitted it was great to be back in management and all “its stresses and strains”, and added: “The first day you realise how much you miss the training and being in the dugout.
“At half-time I told the boys to be aware about Brentford carving you open because they are a good side, but
I also said that if they are too expansive we could catch them on the break and we will have opportunities.”