Birthday present for Poyet as Brighton sweep aside Southampton

Gus Poyet admitted he was bracing himself for a family argument but not even the fear of upsetting Mrs Poyet could prevent the Uruguayan from declaring his first victory in management as his best birthday present in years.

Poyet, who was 42 yesterday, ended his year-long search for a manager's post last week when he was appointed as Russell Slade's successor at Brighton and his impact at the south coast club has been immediate. After just three days in charge, the former Spurs and Chelsea midfielder was entitled to reflect on an initial job well done after two goals from Glenn Murray and a third from Andrew Crofts, installed by Poyet as captain, ensured Albion put clear water between themselves and the bottom four. And after spells as number two to Denis Wise at Swindon and Juande Ramos at Spurs Poyet conceded he drew far more satisfaction from being the main architect of victory. "This feels great," he said. "It may be a bit unfair on my wife but this is probably the best birthday present I have had in five years. This was the perfect start."

"I was waiting for this day for a year since I left Spurs. Life gives you surprises and my first match was on my birthday. I'll remember this day, I'm 42 and we've got three points from my first game in charge. You couldn't ask for more. I don't drink too much, but I'll go home and have a glass of wine with the family to celebrate this."

Albion's last two results, the 3-3 home draw with Hartlepool that proved to be Slade's swansong and last weekend's 4-4 FA Cup stalemate at Wycombe, summed up the strengths and weaknesses of the side Poyet inherited. The South American took the decisive step of dropping captain and centre-back Adam Virgo and admitted he was pleased with his side's more resolute appearance.

Two goals in six minutes in the first half, both neat finishes from Murray, gave the visitors the cushion they subsequently required to fend off Southampton's determined response. Alan Pardew's side came into the game on the back of a run that had brought just one defeat in the previous 14 games and they were back in the contest when Andrew Whing fouled Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert converted the penalty two minutes after the break.

But Saints' revival inexplicably spluttered after the interval and despite being forced to cling on at times, Brighton finished the game in relative comfort when Crofts slotted home three minutes from time.

"It's never good to say you could see a defeat coming but I was concerned about this game," said Saints manager Pardew. "They have a good front two and they defended better than they have been doing."

Southampton (4-4-2): Davis; James, Jaidi, Trotman (Thomas 46), Harding (Mills 84); Antonio (N'Diaye 79), Hammond, Schneiderlin, Lallana; Lambert, Connolly. Subs: Bialkowski, , Mills, Mellis, Wotton, Paterson.

Brighton (4-4-2): Kuipers; Whing, Elphick, Tunnicliffe, El-Abd; Bennett (Navarro 75), Dicker, Crofts, Cox (Hart 60); Forster (Dickinson 75), Murray. Subs: G Smith, Livermore, Virgo, C Davies.

Referee: K Friend

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee