Hughton delighted with win

PA Sport
Chris Hughton

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Chris Hughton

Birmingham manager Chris Hughton was delighted with his players after their 3-1 win over Crystal Palace consolidated their grip on a play-off spot.

A third successive 3-1 win included two goals in as many first-half minutes from Chris Burke and Keith Fahey. A third goal from David Murphy sealed the Londoners' fate despite a super goal from Owen Garvan just before the break.

Hughton said: "These sort of games are always going to be tough. Even at 3-0 I was aware that they went to Derby a few weeks ago and were 3-0 down and came back to 3-2 and certainly could have got something out of the game."

He added: "Fahey's was the pick of the goals because that type of execution with the ball coming in you have to wrap it across the body. For some it is easy but for most it is a tough skill and that is why it was an outstanding strike.

"Although it was a fine goal I didn't think that was Fahey at his best. He has been out for a few games but he has had a really fine season."

Hughton, however, was not happy with the prospect of going to West Ham on Monday.

He claimed: "The players will be in a very good mood. But the only disappointment from our point of view is that a side as good as West Ham at this stage of the season have an extra day rest and recovery than we have."

Palace, who have seen their season slip away, were often exposed at the back and found themselves 3-0 down after 32 minutes, before Garvan got one back a minute before half-time.

Palace manager Dougie Freedman bemoaned the fact he was missing five players and stressed his side need to bounce back quickly.

"There are no excuses. You have to take it on the chin and get back to the clean sheets," he said. "They scored three fantastic goals - especially the second from Fahey. We lost concentration in that 15-minute spell but to be fair to the lads I felt we had as much possession as Birmingham."

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