Brighton boss Hughton denies player row but is furious about penalty decisions

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Brighton boss Chris Hughton denied rumours of a bust-up with Anthony Knockaert prior to Saturday’s defeat by Chelsea.

Knockaert was named Championship player of the year as Brighton won promotion last season but has failed to make a similar impact on the Premier League this term.

He was left out of the squad that lost 4-0 to Chelsea and Hughton was asked after the game about suggestions the Frenchman had stormed out when told of the decision.

“I did see Anthony just before the game, so I know he was here for the game. Anything else, I’m not aware of,” Hughton said. 

“I would like to think that anybody that wasn’t in the starting XI wouldn’t be happy, and anybody that’s not in the squad wouldn’t be happy. But no more than that that I’m aware of.”

Hughton praised the quality of Chelsea’s front three but felt his side deserved more than they got.

“What it showed is the difference between the two teams and the quality they’ve got in the final third,” he said. 

“But I’m disappointed because I don’t think the scoreline is a true reflection of the game. I thought we had some good periods and were unfortunate not to get a couple of goals and had two penalty appeals turned down.

“I thought they were both penalties. I’m more disappointed in the first one – [when] the goalkeeper comes out, there was always going to be a decision to be made.

“If that goes in, it makes it 2-1 and it just gives you that bit of momentum.”