CHRIS HUGHTON touched upon the narrow margins within the Sky Bet Championship, following Brighton & Hove Albion’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town at the Amex on Tuesday night.
The Seagulls were unable to back up their 4-1 victory over Burton Albion with another win on home soil, and Hughton accepted that his players won’t always have things their own way in a competitive race for promotion.
He said, “It’s incredibly difficult to go through a season without having difficult periods. Fortunately for us, we’ve been fairly successful here at the Amex, but teams are not going to come here, lie down and let us have our way.
“Occasionally you might get a team that’s going to blow everybody away in a season and win the league comfortably, but that rarely happens.
“Newcastle are the biggest spenders that we’ve seen in this division, and they haven’t got away from everybody else by massive margins, that’s how tough this league is.”
Albion had claims for a second-half penalty turned down after Solly March went down inside the box, and Hughton felt there was contact but wasn’t aggrieved by the referee’s decision to wave play on.
“At the time I wasn’t sure, I saw the lad slide in and I must admit that I didn’t think he’s swept Solly’s feet away with his feet.
“But was he has done, he’s caught him with his hand. Solly doesn’t generally go down for no reason, and there was a similar situation in Saturday’s game [v Burton] where Solly made sure to stay on his feet.
“I certainly think some referees would have given it, there’s no doubt about that one. It wasn’t to be, but there certainly was contact.”
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MICK MCCARTHY praised his team for their positive performance against the Seagulls, and felt his players more than deserved a share of the spoils, after forcing David Stockdale into numerous saves.
The Tractor Boys were pegged back after Luke Chambers gave his side an early lead, and although they weren’t able to secure maximum points, McCarthy thought his team showed desire at both ends of the pitch.
He said, “This was no backs-to-the-wall performance. Their keeper made the big saves and kept them in it. We definitely deserved the point. The players have were great and I’m really proud of them.
“Getting a point here against a really good team pleases me, but looking at the performance - the fact that we didn’t let our guard down, didn’t concede a silly goal, especially when you look at the injuries we’ve got - it was very rewarding.
“Emyr [Huws] had six stitches in a cut, Chambo [Luke Chambers] was down for a long time after his goal. That shows the mettle of the man, to get in there and score as he did and then play as he did after taking a heavy knock.”
McCarthy had no qualms about the awarding of Albion’s penalty after Bruno was pulled down inside the box, but urged Tom Lawrence to learn his lesson after picking up his tenth yellow card of the season.
“The assistant gave the penalty and I don’t blame Bruno for going down when he feels a tug on his shirt.
“Tom [Lawrence] was booked for dissent and it’s very disappointing because we will miss him for two big games now. He’s got to learn from that.
“As for the referee, if I can’t say anything good about his display, I don’t say anything, so I’ll leave it at that!”