“That tackle was absolutely not a red card.”
Last Updated: 09/03/19 4:20pm
Referee Craig Pawson was right to not send Anthony Knockaert off in the first minute against Crystal Palace, says Chris Hughton.
Knockaert was shown a yellow card by Pawson after a late challenge on Luka Milivojevic in the first minute of Brighton’s 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park.
The sliding tackle was controversial – with Clinton Morrison deeming the tackle a “stonewall red” in the Sky Sports studio – but the Brighton manager felt the challenge did not merit the Frenchman to be dismissed.
He told Sky Sports: “From where I was – and I was very close – absolutely not [a red card].
“Both went for the same ball. The reason why he [Pawson] booked Anthony was because his leg was raised slightly more so.
“The difference between the two challenges wasn’t a lot and I think it was what he saw with Anthony’s tackle. That tackle was absolutely not a red card.”
Knockaert scored a stunning winning goal in the derby match which sees Brighton go level on points with Palace (33).
With nine games left of their Premier League season to go, Hughton hopes his side can reach the 40-point mark quickly.
He added: “I always maintained 40 points is the easiest and obvious one to look for. It’s something to aim for and every team wants to surpass that.
“We have two wins on the spin and we’ve not had many back-to-back wins this season. We can try, after the cup game against Southampton, to make that three.”