Saturday 15 December 2018

Hughton won't get carried away by bright start

Swansea City 0 Brighton 1

Brighton’s Glenn Murray scores the only goal of the game against Swansea yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Brighton’s Glenn Murray scores the only goal of the game against Swansea yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Phil Blanche

Chris Hughton promised Brighton would not be getting carried away after success at Swansea took them into eighth place in the Premier League. Glenn Murray's 29th-minute goal secured a 1-0 win and gave Brighton their first back-to-back wins in the top flight since 1983.

Brighton's previous away game was a 3-0 win at West Ham and the Seagulls have now lost only once in six league matches, with Lewis Dunk and Ireland's Shane Duffy the foundations for their success with some commanding performances, and it was the same again here.

Chris Hughton. Photo: Getty Images
Chris Hughton. Photo: Getty Images

"We're in quite a nice rhythm at the moment and sometimes that carries you through to the next game," Brighton manager Hughton said. "There's no better feeling than winning games and we weren't sure how the season was going to unfold.

"All we knew it was going to be a very difficult season with the quality we'd be up against. Eighth has surpassed our expectation, most newly promoted teams would say the same, but we've got to be guarded against any type of complacency.

"We go into a very heavy and difficult six-week period after the international break. We've got a lot of difficult games in December and that period will say something about what we're like as a side."

Brighton merited their victory, even if Murray's close-range winner owed as much to Swansea's abject defending as his own finishing skills. Central defenders Dunk and Duffy marshalled an outstanding defensive effort with goalkeeper Mathew Ryan having only one save to make.

Tom Carroll of Swansea City and Gaetan Bong of Brighton and Hove Albion battle for the ball. Photo: Getty Images
Tom Carroll of Swansea City and Gaetan Bong of Brighton and Hove Albion battle for the ball. Photo: Getty Images

"It's always more pleasing after that last period when you come under pressure because of the offensive changes they make, we defended well in that period and in the end it was a really good away performance.," Hughton said before heaping praise on his hulking centre-forward..

"Glenn had one chance and scored one goal. It was a good cross from Anthony Knockaert, but he's got to be there and put it away - and that's what Glenn brings us. He has a very good record of putting the ball in the net, but what I really like about him is his work ethic. He works hard on the training ground and then brings it to the pitch."

Swansea's defeat - their fifth from six home games - dropped them into the relegation zone and the fans' growing anger was vented at the board as well as the players. Paul Clement's side have mustered only 21 efforts on goal in their 11 games and only bottom-placed Crystal Palace have scored fewer than the Swans' paltry return of seven.

"The fans are frustrated, they're showing it," head coach Clement said. "It's not the first time they've showed it, but today they showed it more ferociously. But no one is more disappointed and frustrated by the levels of performance than I am.

"If we play at that level, we can't be expected to get a point, never mind a win. A lot of the players in this group have been in this situation before and we have belief we can get out of it," he added.

"But we don't want this continuing, we have to do something about it. We might have to win ugly in to get results. There are lots of games so it's not a crisis but we need to start winning games."

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