Image by: Paul Hazlewood
10:00 18th April 2017
by Kieran Cleeves
The two managers reflect on Monday's game.
CHRIS HUGHTON looked past Albion’s promotion-clinching victory over Wigan Athletic on Monday, and focused in on their chance of securing the Championship title with three games to go.
The Seagulls need just three points to go up as league champions, and Hughton is thankful to have another target to focus on after booking their place in next season’s Premier League.
He said, “The best thing happening now is that we’ve got another challenge. One thing I wouldn’t want or accept, is to go through these next three games a shadow of ourselves.
“I’m pleased that we’ve got a really good opportunity to win the title, and that’s what the players will remember.
“It’s a great achievement for these players to get promotion, but it’s an even greater one to win the Championship.
Newcastle United’s 3-1 defeat against Ipswich Town left the Seagulls seven points clear of the Magpies, and Hughton pointed out the consistency of his players in a competitive division.
“When you look at Newcastle’s result, it’s testament to what this league is, there are no easy games.
“I know how good the other teams are, but we’ve just happened to be more consistent than everybody else this season.”
GRAHAM BARROW felt his players should have defended better for both of Albion’s goals at the Amex, and highlighted the difficult decision he faces in regard to playing in-form striker Nick Powell.
Glenn Murray opened the scoring for the Seagulls, before Solly March added a second after the break, and Barrow was frustrated by the manner of both goals conceded by the Latics.
He said, “I’m so disappointed with the first goal, I find it hard to believe we conceded a goal from that situation and if we go on the training pitch tomorrow and put that into practice, I don’t think we’d concede in 20 times of doing it, and that’s disappointing.
“Even the second goal, despite the fact they’d had the odd situation where they could have scored a good goal before that, they get another poor goal from our point of view. I know [Anthony] Knockaert’s a special player, but from where he was he shouldn’t have created a chance.”
Nick Powell pulled a goal back for the visitors late on, which was the striker’s fifth goal in three games, and Barrow discussed the fitness of the former Manchester United forward ahead of their final three games of the season.
“Nick got the goal and you hope there’s enough time on the clock to get another but it wasn’t to be.
“It’s going to be a difficult decision on Saturday because we have to win; anybody can see that Nick isn’t 100% and we have to manage him because of the seriousness of his injury.
“People will be desperate to see him start and that’s going to have to be a controlled emotional decision between now and the weekend.
“The positive is that we are Saturday to Saturday so there’s a chance to recover between games, and that will give him a chance.”