Glenn Murray believes all has not been lost from Brighton’s FA Cup run despite their semi-final disappointment.
Overcoming quadruple-chasing Manchester City proved a step too far as the Seagulls failed in their attempt to reach the final for only the second time in their history at Wembley on Saturday.
But Chris Hughton’s men battled strongly, particularly in the second half, and Murray feels the 1-0 loss can still be a spur for the remainder of the season.
Although they have a five-point cushion over the bottom three, Brighton are not yet clear of relegation in the Premier League.
Striker Murray said: “Overall, we’re disappointed to lose the game and be out of the FA Cup but I think, in the circumstances, to concede so early and to regain our composure and limit a special City side, with a lot of quality, to very few chances, I think we have got to take heart from that.
“I think lesser teams could have sunk and conceded three, four or five and then it turns into a nightmare. I think we can leave with our heads held high.
“We have got to take that form into the league. We are not going to come up against teams as good as City week in week out. If we can keep them quiet, then we can keep lesser teams quiet.
“Then we have just got to create a few more chances.”
Brighton were deflated when Gabriel Jesus scored what proved to be the only goal of the game after just four minutes.
It took time to recover from that blow, although City were perhaps fortunate that Kyle Walker escaped a red card after a head-to-head confrontation with Alireza Jahanbakhsh, an incident that was reviewed by VAR.
Brighton did put City under pressure for spells after the break but there were few clear-cut chances. The best opportunity saw Murray thwarted by a brilliant clearance from Aymeric Laporte.
Murray, 35, said: “It happened so quickly. I tried to get on the end of it but unfortunately, the bounce just favoured him.
“It fell a bit closer to him and he got it up and over. He did well, he was quite close to his own goal. It was good defending.
“What can we do? We pushed but it wasn’t to be.”