SIMON GRAYSON reflected on Huddersfield Town’s third home defeat of the Championship campaign and concluded: “We didn’t get in their faces.”
The Town boss was without strike trio James Vaughan, Jermaine Beckford and Sean Scannell against Gus Poyet’s side, who leapfrogged Town in the table thanks to Will Buckley’s first-half double.
“In the first 20 minutes we didn’t get in their faces and stop the wide players,” said Grayson, who drafted Oliver Norwood and Danny Ward back into the starting line-up.
“We had to get in amongst the midfield areas where it really matters.
“Win or lose, we always look at performances and see what we can do better next time we play. We can learn from this performance and we will do for the next time we come up against a team that passes the ball like Brighton, which they do very well.
“We also didn’t do what we wanted to and get in among them; we allowed them too much time on the ball and let them get into the passing routine that they are renowned for.
“Instead of closing a player down from two yards, we were probably five yards away. That was probably the major factor why we didn’t get anything out of the game.”
Brighton lost first-choice goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak in the warm-up and had to field Peter Brezovan, leaving them with only six players on the bench. Despite that, Town didn’t put him under enough pressure – he looked shaky on crosses – and Grayson continued: “We lost the game in the first 20 minutes.
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“We didn’t start the game well enough, even though the stats show we’ve been one of the best teams in the first half this season.
“You can’t switch off and make the mistakes we did against a team like Brighton.”
Scouts from six Premiership clubs were in the stands – Swansea, West Ham, Sunderland, West Brom, Reading and Stoke.
“We had some good opportunities,” added Grayson.
“Simon Church had a good headed chance, Lee Novak poked one wide and we scored late in the second half. You can’t fault the players’ endeavour and enthusiasm.
“I was a little bit disappointed with how we passed the ball during the first half, but we still looked a threat throughout the course of the game.
“We normally like to get the ball down and play it around, but we went a little bit more direct and put the ball into the box to see if Alan Lee could cause them a few problems, so we could pick up the second balls.
“If the time had gone on a little bit longer, we would have probably nicked something. Would we have deserved it? Maybe on balance over the course of the game, but in the first 20 minutes we let them get the initiative.”