THE HUGHTON VIEW
Coach Chris Hughton reflects on Sunday's win over Chelsea at the Lane that saw the team stretch their unbeaten sequence to nine games...
Coach Chris Hughton reflects on Sunday's win over Chelsea at the Lane that saw the team stretch their unbeaten sequence to nine games...IT WAS A great day for us on Sunday for two main reasons. Firstly it was the winning of three points as we strive to get back to the consistency of last season and the fact that is was against Chelsea made it all the more special.
In that respect it was more for the supporters, it was a very, very exciting game and the crowd were as vocal as I've heard them for quite some time. There is, of course, a touch of relief over the bad run being ended, but mostly on behalf of the fans because the longer it has gone on it is them who has been given a hard time.
We feel the same too but, for us, it goes a little bit deeper than just beating Chelsea. They are the champions and a top team, the likes of we haven't done as well against as we've aimed to in the past. We've had good performances, but not the results we've wanted - hopefully this will lead to more of the same.
When we fell behind I did wonder whether it would be the same old story, but we have a lot of character in this side and very fit players. Chelsea started well and we needed to keep it tight because once you open your game teams like them can exploit you even more. I knew we had enough in the team to come back from that setback, although there was a little bit of fear.
It was very pleasing to score from a set piece and a bit overdue. The quality of the ball from Jermaine Jenas was excellent and he actually produced a similar one in the second half, which we might have got something from.
You are after that type of quality and the movement to get on the end of it. We are hoping - especially from Michael Dawson with his ability - that there are more to come and I'm sure there will be.
Robbie Keane did well from a wide position and it was no surprise to us because he is such a versatile player. He is also one who, if we have periods in a game where we need to change formation, can fill in and adapt to two or three roles.
Leading up to our winner you saw his skills in a one v one, he has such clever feet and, as a defender, you know you will always be made to work against him. He can go past players and, although he was fortunate with the knock on from the cross, the composure that Aaron Lennon showed to finish the move was excellent.
Aaron came into the game on the back of a few missed chances and it was nice for him to put that one away.