Chris Hughton said the first goal was crucial at Leeds – but that defeat was harsh on his Albion side.

The Seagulls boss felt a point would have been fair reward at Elland Road.

But Chris Wood’s second-half double, including a late penalty, sent them to a 2-0 defeat.

Albion drop a point behind Newcastle, who drew 0-0 at Birmingham, but remain six clear of third-placed Huddersfield, who have a game in hand.

Hughton said: “I thought they were better than us in the first half but they didn’t create a chance at all in that 45 minutes.

“I knew we could get better and I knew the game could open up.

“Then we go into the second half where I think the stats are we had three shots on target, so did they. Theirs counted, ours didn’t.”

Former Albion loanee Wood expertly made room to direct a header beyond David Stockdale for the first.

Hughton said: “I think the first goal changes things.

“We have to open up a little bit more but I thought we also had good chances. I thought we really threatened.

“I don’t think it is a game we deserved to lose. But we probably needed to do more to win it.”