NO OSCARS FOR SLACK BRIGHTON
BRIGHTON’S nightmare start to life under Oscar Garcia is showing little signs of changing after defeat to Derby but the Spaniard won’t be pushing the panic button any time soon.
Gus Poyet has departed the Amex Stadium but his shadow and his legacy still looms large – and Garcia is struggling to step out of it.
Like their previous two games, Brighton took a 1-0 lead, with Leonardo Ulloa heading in early on. However the Seagull’s fortunes were repeated as Chris Martin scored either side of the half, earning a much-deserved victory for Derby.
“If I had a dream, it wouldn’t be this start,” said Garcia.
“But it’s a long league, we have many games and we will improve because we’ve been close to winning and drawing games. It’s not a big difference.
“I don’t want to change too much, but I want to change some things. I want to change some things from last season as a new manager wants to introduce different kind of things, but I don’t want to change everything. Brighton played very well last season.
“The performance was more or less like the other games. We had many chances to score and we weren’t clinical. They had three chances and they scored two goals and that was the difference. We have to think about this and find out what’s happening.”
The first ten minutes of the former-Barcelona man’s home league debut saw his side out tikitaka’ed by Derby, with England U21 call-up Will Hughes displaying some lovely one touch football.
Despite the Rams’ dominance, Brighton took the lead on the 17th minute. A lovely cross from rightback Inigo Calderon found Ulloa, who headed in for his second goal this season.
Ten minutes later, Derby equalised. A cross from Craig Forsyth was poorly dealt with by Brighton skipper Gordon Greer, allowing Martin to stab the ball in with the outside of his boot.
Shortly before halftime Brighton were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area, which was taken by David Lopez but blocked by a Martin’s hand. Brighton appealed for a penalty, but their claims were quickly waved away by referee Andy D’Urso.
Barely a minute into the second half Derby took the lead. A fantastic cross from right-back Kieron Freeman found Martin, who poked the ball superbly past Tomasz Kuszczak.
Ulloa nearly pulled back a goal just over the mark, but his glancing header from a Lopez cross was denied by the post.
Brighton had two long-range chances soon after through Rohan Ince and Kemy Agustien, the latter of which forcing a corner.
Derby substitute Jamie Ward nearly killed the game off in the 90th minute, but the striker’s effort glanced just wide of the target.
Nigel Clough’s side only managed four league away wins last season, joint worst in the Championship.
“In terms of giving us confidence and belief, that win is very important,” said Clough.
“Coming from a goal behind was great as well, especially as we didn’t deserve to go a goal down given how well we played in the 15 minutes. It was an exceptionally good away performance and we set out our stalls to stop Brighton playing and to allow us to play. I thought we did that for the majority of the game.
“We had to defend well in second half at times. The way we started the game is thing that pleased me most.
“Usually we’re under the kosh when we play here, with Brighton passing it around and we can’t get near them. But this time I felt it was the other way round for long spells.”
KEEP ON ROCKING: Derby's Chris Martin celebrates scoring their first goal
SMASH: Brighton’s Ashley Barnes and Richard Keogh