Date: 18th August 2016 at 7:38am
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Manager Chris Hughton has praised the Amex fans following victory over Rotherham United on Tuesday evening.

Welcoming Alan Stubbs’ side to the Amex for the game, Brighton took a comfortable three nil victory on the evening with goals coming from Anthony Knockaert, Glenn Murray and Tomer Hemed.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, the gaffer was very quick to acknowledge the atmosphere in the ground at kick off and for the game, as he knew it definitely helped the players.

‘I thought the crowd were excellent tonight. They were very vocal and I think that`s the consequence of them enjoying what they saw. We weren`t as clinical in front of goal as we could have been, but we had a lot of possession and the two goals in the first half gave us scope to try and get more. The fluency and passing in our game was very good. They played a system that we thought would be tough to break down with sometimes five at the back, but I thought we had good movement behind that. We threatened most of the game. I think we`re at a stage now, with what we have in the squad, that we`re able to make some changes to freshen up. At the start of the season, we went into seven games in a three-and-a-half-week period and it does give me an opportunity to change things. At that stage (3-0), you want to score more goals if you can, but you`re up against a team that are resilient and work as hard as they can. They came out very spirited in that second half, but I was desperate that we didn`t concede.’

With Miki Maenpaa making his Championship debut for the club in place of injured David Stockdale, his performance also came in for praise, as did Oliver Norwood.

‘We had a few sloppy moments in the latter part of the game, they had a few efforts at goal and we needed Niki Maenpaa to make a good save for us. He`s had a good involvement in pre-season. David Stockdale had a bit of an injury in the first part of pre-season, which meant Niki was involved in a lot of the games. So in a way, he`s had a lot more of an involvement this season than he did last season. He`s waited for his opportunity and I have to say, I think he was excellent for us this evening.’

As for Norwood, he went on to say.

‘We had a lot of possession and Ollie`s certainly one of those that enjoys being on the ball. He`s got a good range of passing, so I think that helped him. He is a lad that`s settled in very quickly and is an experienced Championship campaigner. He`s a player that played in the Euros this summer too, so we expected him to fit in very quickly and he is a good player.’

Victory on Tuesday evening did lift Brighton to the top of the Championship table – a position they continue to occupy on goal difference (joint on seven points with Norwich City, Huddersfield Town and Fulham) after Wednesday’s fixtures, and whilst there is a confidence that can be taken from that by the players, Hughton knows that with three games played it means as little as being bottom does at this stage of the year.

‘I think being top of the league is immaterial, but what I am pleased with is the way we`ve gone about our business in these four games. I was equally as pleased in the cup game that we had here, where we managed to change the team. We had a very young side out but they`ve been excellent throughout pre-season. We`ve started well, so I suppose a lot of people were looking at us to see how we would start after the end of last season and I`m delighted we`ve started well.’

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