Date: 27th April 2015 at 5:09pm
Written by:

Manager Chris Hughton has said he can’t fault the effort of the players once more following the two nil defeat to Watford, but he knows a lack of a clinical edge up front has cost us another game.

Audio – Watford Loss Reactions

Speaking to the Official Site following the match Hughton explained that he was satisfied by what the players put in again, but with their keeper pulling off three great saves he knows the result could’ve been different had we managed to get back on level turns and change the momentum of the game.

‘I cannot fault the players for what they gave and also in making the system work. However with the number of opportunities and the amount of crosses that we got into the box and in the final third, we needed to make more of them; if you don’t then it makes it difficult. Anybody watching the game today would have thought that our level of performance was good. If I look at the difference between the two teams, it is that we had enough good chances but at the moment we are not putting them away.’

Hughton goes on to say that when he looks at sides like Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich the main difference really is they are finding the goals to secure wins and it’s long been a problem we’ve had this season and whilst he doesn’t say had we converted our chances we’d have won or even deserved to win, but it’s another game where a point wouldn’t have been unfair.

Having referenced the system, few were expecting us to match Watford’s 352 on the day and he explained his reasoning behind that.

‘I wanted to try something different today because of where we are at this moment. We felt that we could give the players a real challenge by matching the shape that they play and by giving real responsibility to the players on the pitch. I changed the system and it was testament to our performance that they changed their system mid-way through the first half.’

He went on to say that with Watford starting the game with two strikers who have got 20 goals each so far this season, they are a side that can create and score and all season long when they haven’t been able to find a spectacular strike, or a good team goal, somebody pops up with a scruffy one and it’s that knack that we have struggled with so when they went ahead he always knew it was going to be incredibly difficult to get back into it – but again we did have those chances.

‘Once we conceded the goal – and it was a poor goal – that gave them the opportunity to work off a solid base. At 0-0 they still had to open up as it was a game where they would have felt that they had to win.’

With Craig Mackail-Smith having one of those chances, Hughton admits that given the news that he will be departing the Amex this summer, everybody would’ve loved to have seen CMS sign off by increasing his club tally.

‘Everybody would have liked to see Craig finish with a goal. First and foremost because it would have got us back into the game but also for him as well. In my period of time here he has been excellent. It has been a difficult year for him in terms of getting as many games as he would have liked and then he got the injury and it took some time for Craig to get back to doing what we know he can do. I think his demeanour has been excellent and he has given everything he can and we wish him all the best.’

Join The Vital Debate