Chris Hughton took the positives after Brighton’s first Premier League match ended in defeat to Man City on Saturday.
Albion frustrated the title hopefuls for 70 minutes at the Amex until Sergio Aguero opened the scoring following a mistake by Dale Stephens.
Lewis Dunk’s own goal five minutes later took the match away from Brighton, making their first top-flight appearance in 34 years,
Hughton felt his side matched their opponents for a large part of the game but were punished by moments of quality in the second half.
The Brighton boss said: “For 70 minutes we played the game that we had to play.
“When you’re up against the quality that they’ve got – they have designs on Champions League; ours is to stay in this division next season.
“For 70 minutes we kept them to minimal good chances. But probably the first moment you allow yourselves to get really stretched as a team they capitalised. That’s the quality that they’ve got.”
Hughton, who will assess Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown’s hamstring injury on Sunday, bemoaned his side relinquishing possession too easily, but felt there were “more positives than negatives”.
The match marked quite a journey for Albion, 20 years after facing extinction and following a 34-year absence from the top flight.
“Today was very much a club day. This club has a very difficult history in recent years,” Hughton added.
“It’s understandable that for the history of this club and our first game in the Premier League that it was going to be a big occasion. The fact Man City were coming made it even bigger.
“Now it’s about making sure we dust ourselves down. My responsibility is to make sure we’re a Premier League team next season.”