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Cup exit was such an anti-climax for Albion
Nathan Jones has branded Albion’s FA Cup exit an anti-climax after a poor first half performance at Hull cost them the chance of a reunion with former manager Gus Poyet.
Hull’s 2-1 victory in last night’s fifth round replay at the KC Stadium clinched an all-Premier League quarter-final at home to Poyet’s Sunderland for Steve Bruce’s side.
Jones was lamenting the Seagulls’ display in the opening 45 minutes as they trailed to two soft goals from a corner and free-kick before Leo Ulloa pulled a goal back after the break.
The assistant head coach admitted: “It felt like a little bit of an anti-climax in the first half, with the way we have played in this campaign and especially the way we played at home in the first game against Hull.
“The first half performance wasn’t us and we haven’t played like that for a while, so it’s disappointing to come and do that in such a big game.
“We showed what we are about in the second half and if we had done that for the full 90 it might have been a different outcome but it’s all ifs. It was a mountain to climb against a good Premier League side. You can’t give sides like that a 2-0 lead.”
Ulloa, who nodded his fifth goal in as many games, and veteran centre-half Matt Upson both started and finished the match, 48 hours after the home defeat by Wigan.
Jones said: “Leo was fit, he was ready to play and he’s in fantastic form. People want to play. Matty Upson wanted to play, so it was an important game for us, a fantastic opportunity to do something special and that is why the first half performance was a little bit of an anti-climax.”
Rohan Ince, withdrawn during the second half, has joined Andrea Orlandi (ankle) and Will Buckley (hamstring) on the casualty list ahead of Saturday’s trip to Millwall.
Jones said: “He just rolled his ankle slightly. We’ll have to monitor that, because he’s an important player for us. He was struggling towards the end.”