Belfast Telegraph

Silva wants smarting Digne to put ref frustration behind him

Jurgen Locadia scored Brighton’s second-half winner.

Lucas Digne, left, was unhappy following the final whistle at the Amex Stadium (Mark Kerton/PA)
Lucas Digne, left, was unhappy following the final whistle at the Amex Stadium (Mark Kerton/PA)

Everton manager Marco Silva has urged Lucas Digne “to clear his mind” after his angry reaction to the 1-0 Premier League defeat at Brighton.

Full-back Digne had to be pulled away by team-mates Jordan Pickford and Seamus Coleman following the final whistle at the Amex Stadium.

The Frenchman appeared to be unhappy with referee Andrew Madley, while also venting frustration at some of Brighton’s players.

Silva, who was also critical of the officials, said: “He’s upset, not just him. First because we didn’t win the match and it was our goal (objective).

“And he was upset with the referee in some moments of the match as well, but it’s part of the game. Now I want him to clear his mind and to prepare (for) the next match.

“It was a frustrating afternoon for us. I think we created more than our opponent.

“Even if it wasn’t our best performance, we created enough to achieve a different result.”

Seagulls striker Jurgen Locadia decided the contest on the south coast, swivelling to turn home in the 59th minute following a Pascal Gross corner.

The strike was initially flagged offside but, after consulting with a linesman, match official Madley awarded the goal, with replays showing it was the correct decision as the ball was inadvertently diverted towards Everton’s goal by Toffees midfielder Andre Gomes.

Everton twice hit the woodwork as they went in search of an equaliser, with Richarlison denied by a post and Kurt Zouma heading against the crossbar.

Silva, who had no issue with Locadia’s goal, seemed to be unhappy that the game was stopped to allow treatment for an injured Brighton player after Madley had earlier let play continue when Richarlison had a problem.

“He has to do the same things for both teams, not with one player in the different way than the others,” said Silva.

“Of course what I told him is to stay between me and him. It was nothing about the goal, it was a normal goal.

“He managed the match in some moments that I think he could differently.”

Brighton’s victory, which was built on a first clean sheet since October 27, ended a four-match winless run.

In the absence of first-choice goalkeeper Mat Ryan – who is with Australia ahead of the Asian Cup – the Seagulls gave a Premier League debut to David Button, while Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk partnered each other in central defence for the first time in five games following suspensions.

Match-winner Locadia, who was last month quoted in the Dutch media as looking to leave Sussex due to a lack of action, now has two goals in as many games after equalising in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Boxing Day.

Albion manager Chris Hughton praised the contribution of the £14million forward.

“We’ve never thought that way,” said Hughton about the prospect of Locadia leaving.

“He’s a really decent lad and our thinking always was that he was misquoted.

“We are aware that he wouldn’t have been happy not playing. And I can understand that, he’s been here a year now.

“But he’s knuckled down. Credit to him, he’s the one that deserves it.”

PA

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