Chris Hughton hailed Tomer Hemed's moment of quality as Albion ground out a 1-0 victory at home to Cardiff this evening.
The win took Brighton back to the top of the Championship as Hemed got the only goal 17 minutes from time.
Seagulls boss Chris Hughton said: "It was one of them days and you sensed it would be a tough one. Neil (Warnock) sets his teams up well and they're a good side, they've got good quality and they had to defend well but we did too.
"We needed Stocko (David Stockdale) to make a couple of good saves and Shane (Duffy) pulled off a wonderful block near the end.
"We needed to be patient and it was going to be about moments of quality and we managed to find it."
On Hemed's goal, Hughton said: "It was a great strike, he'd missed a chance just before that so if anything that lifted his desire to want to get a goal and break the deadlock.
"But it was going to need something like that as we found it difficult to break them down."
Albion are now 11 points clear of third-placed Reading, who won 1-0 at home to Fulham this evening, and on the gap, Hughton said: "Its wonderful, we've worked very hard for it but we play so many games in this division and have a really hectic period coming up over the next two months.
"We'll have to make sure we show a lot of the quality we've shown to continue to get results. There's so many good sides below us that are all capable of putting a good run together, so we just need to maintain what we're doing and always make sure we go into every game knowing it's one we could lose."
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock felt his side deserved something from the game and said: "It shows how far we've come since I've been here. We can't come and play open football against Brighton, even though the fans would like us to and get beaten four or five.
"They've been in a game tonight and we've made some very good players ineffective. We created some great chances in the first half and their goalkeeper has pulled off two or three great saves.
"You don't get that many good chances against Brighton but you always know they're going to keep grinding because they know how to win games and that's why they're top of the league.
"But I bet they'll be glad they don't have to play us again.
"I said to the lads before the game that I'm looking to next season and I asked them who wants to be here and who can be here because this is the best team in the league.
"They might not have got the best squad, I think Newcastle might, but these are the best team."
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