Brighton and Hove Albion boss Gus Poyet defends Sunderland’s Steve Bruce

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GUS Poyet urged reporters to praise Brighton rather than bury Sunderland in the wake of his side’s stirring Carling Cup victory last night.

The beaming Brighton boss bounced into his Press conference on a post-match high, thrilled with the way his players had fought for a famous cup win.

And he was keen for his players to get their just desserts in today’s headlines.

“Please take nothing away from my players,” he begged.

“The game was not just about Sunderland losing, it was also about Brighton winning.

“They deserve every credit for that performance.

“I’m very proud of them because they gave everything on the night; they kept on going.

“And I was proud of them because it was such a hard match for us.

“No-one should be under any illusions how tough it was.

“It was very, very difficult to play Sunderland – they had quality all over the pitch – and my players needed to be at their very best to contain them.”

The Uruguayan was coy about lauding his team’s superiority on the night over Premier League opposition – sympathetic to the pains of his opposite number who has endured a derby defeat and a cup exit in the space of 72 hours.

“Sometimes things work for you and sometimes they work against you and I think we were lucky to get Sunderland at our place at this particular time.

“I think we deserved to beat them, but I think that the difference between us and them was small.

“It is one goal difference.

“In games like that one, the difference between winning and losing is minimal – it’s about who takes their chances on the night.

“Sunderland didn’t manage to do theirs against us, but, as soon as he puts that right, Sunderland can go on to win four or five.

“I know that Steve Bruce is a good manager and so, in my opinion, I don’t think he will be under pressure.”