Chris Hughton applauds Brighton's fans after their aggregate defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

Brighton 'distraught' but will bounce back - Chris Hughton

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Chris Hughton is confident his "distraught" Brighton side will bounce back from their promotion heartbreak.

The Seagulls missed out on going up automatically to the Premier League on goal difference on the final day of the season.

They then suffered play-off agony as Sheffield Wednesday, who finished 15 points below them, clinched a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium on Monday night and a 3-1 aggregate victory to leave Hughton's men empty-handed.

But the Seagulls boss, who had the possibly hollow consolation of being named the League Managers' Association's Championship manager of the year later on Monday night, said: "The fact we finished so far above is by the by.

"The disappointment is massive because we were so close to automatic promotion.

"At the moment it's a distraught changing room. The fact it hurts so much means they put so much into it. They've got to use this feeling to go again next season.

"They'll be fine. They'll dust themselves down. It's normal stuff. There is going to be a team in the play-off final who are going to lose and they will also have to pick themselves up."

Brighton, trailing 2-0 from Friday's first leg, threatened a comeback during a ferocious opening half an hour but only had Lewis Dunk's close-range effort to show for it.

Ross Wallace, who opened the scoring at Hillsborough four days ago, equalised on the night with a cross which drifted straight in and the Seagulls could not recover.

Wednesday boss Carlos Cavalhal said: "Let me give a to word to Brighton and their manager. They had a fantastic season, they fought until the last minute to get promotion. They deserve promotion.

"But that doesn't mean we don't deserve it. We have grown up together like a team, we played better and better.

"In the first half Brighton created lots of problems. It was very tough. We felt big pain to achieve this but we deserve it. We fought a lot."

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