BRIGHTON, England, March 31 (Reuters) - Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton refused to lay the blame for his team’s 2-0 home defeat by Leicester City on Saturday at the feet of striker Glenn Murray.
Brighton’s top scorer missed a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock in the first half before seeing a late penalty saved by Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
That miss proved costly as two late Leicester goals inflicted Brighton’s first home defeat in five in all competitions.
“Glenn has been very good for us this season,” Hughton told reporters. “All you can do is react in the right way. I didn’t see us drop from that (penalty miss), I just saw them get a lift.
“There will be nobody more down than Glenn. It is a moment that changes the game, there is no doubt about that. If we had scored we would have gone on to win the game.
“It is frustrating and disappointing but that is top-level football. It is a game I couldn’t see us losing. I thought for the strengths that they have, I thought we nullified them well. We had chances ourselves but you have to put them away.
“The lift that they got from the penalty miss saw them go and get the first goal. The second is immaterial.”
With matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester United to come, Hughton is aware that Brighton are still short of securing their Premier League status ahead of their next clash with Huddersfield Town.
“Next week is massive game for us - they all are,” Hughton added. “In this league, we are all in the same boat in the bottom half.
“At this moment no (we are not safe), but I have to think that way. The reality is that nobody knows what it will take to stay up. We have to set our mark higher than everyone else.” (Editing by Ed Osmond)