NO OS­CARS FOR SLACK BRIGHTON

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Niall Kelly

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

KEEP ON ROCK­ING: Derby's Chris Martin cel­e­brates scor­ing their first goal

SMASH: Brighton’s Ash­ley Barnes and Richard Keogh

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