Date: 21st December 2015 at 5:13pm
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Manager Chris Hughton has said that Brighton’s first Championship defeat of the season against fellow promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough at the weekend should prove to be nothing more than motivation for the side to get back on another unbeaten run.

Taking a three nil defeat in the first of the four main festive fixtures with Brentford, Ipswich Town and Wolves now on the horizon, Hughton was philosophical about the loss because he knew our 21 strong league unbeaten run wasn’t going to last for ever, but what’s important now is how the players respond to it.

Speaking to the Official Site following the game, the gaffer explained.

‘We now have to make sure that this game motivates us going into our next series of games because this was always likely to happen at some stage. It’s happened on the back of a real tough period for us where we have lost a few players in the squad. There has not been a team that has really beaten us well and although it was tough today, we hope this will be the one that will get us back onto winning terms in the next game. What we have to make sure is that these lads get plenty of rest and recovery. We have coped very well and any team that gets to this stage of the season on an unbeaten run absolutely deserves it, and we have. We have got a lot of character in that dressing room and we need to show that now.’

With the defeat not being what anybody wanted, Hughton went on to say that given the overall performance he couldn’t really argue with the outcome but he felt the scoreline was harsh.

‘It’s tough because we have been on a wonderful run, but we came up against a team that have shown today where they have been this season; one that got to the play-offs last season and invested very well in the summer. On the balance of play they were not dramatically different from us, but they were in the areas that mattered. They defended strongly and had that bit of quality to get the types of goals that they did; they were far more clinical than us. We came into the game on the back of a big run and on the back of two very tough away games. We picked up another injury today and while we have generally coped with everything that has been thrown at us, maybe today was just that one game too far.’

Ending his interview, Hughton had specific praise for the reaction of the fans at the full time whistle because he more than knew they were disappointed with the outcome, but he appreciated the applause given what Brighton have achieved so far this year.

‘We have done the supporters proud, but we want to have a good season, not just a good half-season and it is now about how we react. I thought our supporters were excellent. I think they appreciate that we have had a really good start to the season and generally what they have seen from the team has been good. Today was not so good but again they half-appreciated that this is going to happen occasionally. We will absolutely need them to be as they always are, come our next home game against Ipswich. Following that we have two home games where once again, we need them to be as good as they have been. We are still in that top group of teams and we know there will be lots of twists and turns and some of the teams who are favourites to go up will have bad days. It’s up to us make sure that we have enough good ones.’

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