By 90Min
October 06, 2018

Chris Hughton was full of praise for his back four on Friday night, after they kept the club's first clean sheet of the season in a 1-0 win over West Ham.

Glenn Murray scored the game's only goal, but speaking to Sky Sports News, Hughton primarily focused on praising the defensive effort of his team.

"It is a little bit difficult to get the right combinations. The two centre-halves have played so many games together," he said of Dunk and Duffy, who both signed new long-term deals on Friday morning. "And I just thought after the last couple of games that we needed Bruno's composure on the ball. 

"In the end, though, it probably was not about composure, it was about trying to defend well on that side because I thought they were very strong on the flanks. The centre-halves are as brave as each other, but when you are in that sort of mode, you know you have to throw your body on the line. And it takes that to get a result."

Hughton admitted that his side came under sustained pressure from West Ham, and praised the defensive resilience of his side as they rode out the storm to snatch the three points. 

"We rode our luck as the game wore on," he said, "sometimes you need that. It is a clean sheet for us, the first of the season, sometimes you ride your luck and what you also need is a goal scorer. So when you are hanging on, you at least have the protection of that one goal and in the end it was our night."

Despite being pleased with the victory, Hughton admitted his side caused themselves unnecessary pressure after the break – pressure that nearly resulted in an equaliser for the visitors.

"We had to work hard for it and we made a lot of poor choices on the ball today and we rode our luck," he said. "But in between that, we had to defend very well.

"These are a good side and they have really good forward options. But we had to have really good periods in the game where we defended well from the front. We have had to ride our luck a little bit, but sometime these are the games you get the most from."

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