Hughton ques­tions red-card de­ci­sion as Brighton are left to go up hard way

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - BARCLAYS PREMIERE LEAGUE - By Richard Amofa

Brighton man­ager Chris Hughton was crit­i­cal of ref­eree Mike Dean’s de­ci­sion to send off Dale Stephens dur­ing the 1-1 draw at Mid­dles­brough that de­nied the south-coast club an au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spot.

Mid­fielder Stephens had equalised for Brighton af­ter Cristhian Stu­ani’s opener but was dis­missed min­utes later af­ter a chal­lenge on Gastón Ramírez.

Hughton, whose side must now suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate their way through the play-offs to achieve Premier League sta­tus, said: “You go with your gut feel­ing. I thought I had a good view and my first thought was that it was nowhere near a red card.”

Brighton’s play-off op­po­nents, Sh­effield Wed­nes­day, ended their reg­u­lar Cham­pi­onship sea­son with a 2-1 de­feat at Wolves.

The home side took the lead through a Michael Turner own goal and dou­bled their ad­van­tage when Ge­orge Sav­ille scored 10 min­utes be­fore half-time. Lewis McGu­gan pulled one back for Wed­nes­day from the penalty spot.

De­spite the de­feat, Wed­nes­day man­ager Car­los Carvalhal was in a con­fi­dent mood, say­ing: “We will be un­der­dogs but that can be a pos­i­tive for us.”

Hull City man­ager Steve Bruce saw his side beat Rother­ham 5-1 but later urged the club’s fans to put aside their protests over owner Assem Al­lam’s mem­ber­ship scheme plans ahead of their play­off ties against Derby County.

“Now is the time to for­get protests and get be­hind the team,” Bruce said.

Fifth-placed Derby were beaten 1-0 by Ip­swich Town, but Rams head coach Dar­ren Was­sall said: “Ul­ti­mately, this re­sult doesn’t mat­ter. In the big scheme of things it’s in­con­se­quen­tial be­cause next week’s re­sults are the ones that will de­fine our sea­son.”

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