Date: 4th April 2016 at 9:29am
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Manager Chris Hughton has said that he believes Brighton had deserved all three points from the top of the table clash with Burnley at the weekend.

Hosting Sean Dyche’s Championship table toppers at the Amex Stadium for the game, Brighton twice took the lead through Dale Stephens and Anthony Knockaert but the visitors hit back on each occasion – although their leveller was three minutes into injury time.

Arguably already having had the ball across the line and the officials not giving it they will hold on to, but Hughton spoke about being the side most likely to score from open play and whilst he didn’t think they should’ve have, he also knew on another day they wouldn’t have ended the game with eleven players on the field given a number of challenges from Joey Barton on the day.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, the gaffer explained.

‘I was delighted with our performance and that is probably why there is such a disappointment right now because this group of lads deserved a win today, against a team that were top of the table. In open play, we were the side that was most likely to score. At 2-1 we had opportunities to kill the game off and didn`t take them. I’m incredibly disappointed. It was a game that we deserved to win, of that I have no doubts, but Burnley showed the reason why they are where they are. They can win games and draw games in different types of ways. Perhaps their physicality and their directness managed to get them back in the game, but we should have been out of sight by then. We are the side that had the better chances and the better opportunities, but you have to make the most of them otherwise what happened at the end of the game can happen.’

As for the goal Burnley claimed but wasn’t given, Hughton admitted it was a good shout as it was over the line from what he was told (it was!) but he did say he felt it probably balanced up as he believed their was a foul on Connor Goldson in the build up to their second that was given.

‘At the time I did not know and I still have not seen it, but I have been told that it was over the line. If that is the case then obviously that is one that we have got away with. However I also thought that on their equalising goal there was a foul on Connor Goldson. At that stage they were putting a little bit of pressure on us. They were getting very direct and with the physicality and the height that they have, it made it very difficult for us and it paid off for them in the end.’

With Joey Barton’s running battle with Beram Kayal in midfield, he also added that his first impression was the issues with Barton held no malice and it is a physical game and you have to accept that, but equally on another day the referee could’ve easily taken alternative action.

‘I would have to say that my first impression is that there is no doubt that he landed on Beram and caught him. My first impression was there was no malice, and the same with the elbow, where I think he jumped with his arms up. Unless I see something different, my first impression is that it is a tough physical game and we have to give as good as we get as regards the competitive side of the game.’

He ended by saying that with Tuesday evening’s visit to Birmingham City he expected to welcome back Bruno who went off late on in the Burnley game with a cramp, but Sam Baldock and his tight hamstring will have to be assessed just ahead of the game.

‘Sam has been quite clever and quite bright on a couple of occasions where he has just felt it and has come off at the right time, so hopefully that won`t be too bad but the unfortunate thing for us is that we play again in three days’ time, so that might be too quick.’

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