sport

Jones praise for youngsters

Brighton assistant boss Nathan Jones paid tribute to the club's young players for keeping them in with a shot at promotion after Good Friday's 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw at Huddersfield.

The Seagulls had no fewer than eight first-team players sidelined with long-term injuries early in the campaign.

But the young players held the fort until reinforcements arrived, and Jones said: "We are delighted to be still in the mix with three games left.

"We had a lot of injuries early on and the aim was to hang onto the coat-tails of the other clubs until we could get the injured players back.

"We always knew we had a competitive squad with everyone fit."

Brighton snatched a late point when Spanish right-back Bruno Saltor cancelled out Oliver Norwood's opener.

The draw was enough to lift the Seagulls back into the play-off positions and Jones, assistant to Oscar Garcia, said: "When you look at the start we had - being without eight first-team players - it's been great and that's a tribute to the young players who came in.

"We had an injury list that would have crippled even Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City."

Jones said it was no surprise to be doing so well in Garcia's first season and added: "This is a fantastic club.

"It's a Premier League club in terms of set-up and ambition. The difficult bit is getting there on the pitch."

Former Manchester United junior Norwood struck the brilliant opener from 20 yards, leaving Albion goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak no chance.

Norwood almost doubled the hosts' lead with another free-kick just past the hour mark, but Kuszczak beat it out and cleared at the second attempt.

Nahki Wells then fired just over before forcing the Pole into another good save.

Saltor then equalised seven minutes from time, firing home his first goal of the season and only his second for the club.

Huddersfield boss Mark Robins was pleased with the response of his players, despite the draw pushing their winless run to 10 matches.

Town ended a run of three straight defeats, however, and Robins said: "It was important we put in a performance to put a brake on the run of results we've been having.

"On balance, I have to be happy with a point but we could have had all three.

"I was pleased with the application and the steely way we set about our jobs."

Robins continued: "If we had taken another of the chances we would have been all right. We have been creating chances all season but just not been clinical enough."

And Robins refused to accept his side were safe from the drop, adding: "We said we needed four points from the Easter weekend fixtures, so we have to go to Yeovil on Monday and win.

"They are fighting for their lives but we have the players who are capable of going there and getting three points.

"We fought hard and if we hadn't switched off at the end we would have won the game. A draw was probably a fair result."