Hughton rues lack of depth for City

PA Sport
Chris Hughton
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Chris Hughton

Birmingham manager Chris Hughton felt luck deserted his side as they fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Braga in their crucial Europa League tie in Group H.

Striker Nikola Zigic saw his penalty saved by Quim after Wade Elliott was brought down by Ewerton, who then avoided a second yellow card just minutes later after bringing down Chris Burke in a promising position. And Blues were made to pay shortly after half-time as Hugo Viana's 30-yard strike took a huge deflection off Curtis Davies and wrong-footed Boaz Myhill.

"I don't think we deserved to lose," Hughton said. "I thought it was going to take a bit of brilliance or a little bit of luck for them to score. They got the one little bit of fortune that counted."

Speaking about the failure to send off Ewerton, Hughton added: "My first impression was that it should be a yellow card.

"I have to say I didn't realise it was the same player until one of my coaching staff made me aware of that. It was a definite yellow card.

"That being the case he then shouldn't have been on the pitch and certainly it makes it more comfortable for us against what is a very good Braga team with 10 men.

"I'm quite sure we would have had enough to then get a point from the game, if not to go on and win the game."

Hughton added: "I've seen the replay of the goal and it's as soft a goal as you'll ever see. The initial shot itself would have been a very comfortable easy save for Boaz, it almost picked up momentum with the deflection.

"But they should have been down to 10 men at that stage and I'm very, very confident that against 10 men we would have got the result we wanted."

Braga boss Leonardo Jardim admitted his side were fortunate to ride the early storm, and said: "It was a bad beginning for us, the worst 15 minutes we've had this season. We were lucky Birmingham weren't able to score. We improved during the match, we gained victory from a very difficult game."

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