Neal Maupay’s first start for Brighton in the Premier League ended in disappointment on Saturday but the £16m summer signing praised the battling qualities displayed by the team.
Albion were forced to play for more than 60 minutes with ten-men against Southampton in searing heat after Maupay’s strike partner Florin Andone was dismissed for a nasty challenge on Saints right back Yan Valery.
Brighton continued to play well and create chances but goals from Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond sealed a first win of the season for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team.
He said, “It was a tough game for us, the red card made it difficult, but the team spirit was spot on.
“Unfortunately, it was a bit too much to get a point, but we fought until the end and have to take the many positives going forward and bounce back.
“We made some changes in the second half and continued to create chances. We kept playing well and even when they scored, we still had opportunities – unfortunately we couldn’t take those.
“It was obviously nice to get my full debut and it was very exciting, but the team is always the most important thing.
“A debut with a defeat is not the same, so it’s mixed emotions for me.
“The minutes on the field are important, I didn’t play during pre-season so I’m still finding my rhythm in this league.
“I feel I’m ready now after starting for the first time, and hopefully there will be many more starts to come for me.
“I played in a few positions on Saturday; I started on the right, but the manager gives us freedom to switch at times ,which is good.
“That freedom gives us a lot of chances and it’s not easy to defend against.
“Leandro [Trossard] has really good quality to find chances for us, I felt he and I combined well today, and you can see what he brings to the team.”