Brighton boss claims two penalties

MARK McGhee was unequivocal in his assessment of the defeat by Ipswich.According to the Brighton boss, they should have had two penalties and deserved at least a point.

By Derek Davis

MARK McGhee was unequivocal in his assessment of the defeat by Ipswich.

According to the Brighton boss, they should have had two penalties and deserved at least a point.

On the other hand, he conceded little old Brighton had no right to come to places like Ipswich and expect anything - even though they have won at West Ham and Leicester in recent weeks.

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McGhee was not happy with Reading official Trevor Kettle, who booked Brighton skipper Danny Cullip for diving when the Seagulls thought they should have a penalty for Kevin Horlock's challenge.

And when Leon Knight tussled with, but stayed on his feet under duress from Fabian Wilnis, McGhee again thought a spot kick was in order.

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The Scot said: “It was a stonewall penalty when Danny Cullip was fouled. You just hope the referee gets these decisions right because they are big decisions.

“For the second one, Leon has tried to stay on his feet and the referee has played advantage - and when he didn't score then he should have given the penalty.”

That, and his belief that Town's goal owed much to good fortune, convinced McGhee his side were hard done by.

He added: “We were unfortunate for their goal, which came from a ricochet. They didn't create too much else, they didn't get behind us, they didn't expose us in any great way or cause us any real embarrassment.

“I was quite satisfied with our approach but disappointed with the result.”

Nor was he in the mood to give his keeper Michel Kuipers too much credit, even though he made good saves from Tommy Miller, Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi.

He said: “He made them at stages where we were trying to push on, looking for an equaliser.

“We kept it tight early on and it was only when we opened it up that we got exposed.”

Promoted last year via the play-offs, potless Brighton are one of the favourites to go straight back down. But McGhee believes if his side can perform the way they did against Ipswich, they should survive.

He said: “Regardless that we should have had two penalty kicks, it is unrealistic for us to believe we can come and win at places like Ipswich, even if we have won at difficult places already. It is far-fetched to think we should win here, although we gave a good account of ourselves.

“We know we need to win 10 of our last 25 games, but if we carry on playing like that then we have a chance.

“Last season we were quite agricultural in our approach at times, so I'm delighted with our progress - we are a footballing team now.

“Most aspects of or play was good - the only thing we are short of now is bodies.”

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