Mark Hughes admitted the point against Brighton felt more like a defeat but believes his team are moving in the right direction.

Saints had to settle for a 2-2 draw with the Seagulls despite having established a two-goal lead midway through the second half.

Glenn Murray’s late penalty, which Hughes felt was a soft award from referee Anthony Taylor, rescued the point for Brighton and left Saints ruing two that got away.

However, Hughes has seen more encouraging signs from his side.

He said: “We are disappointed with the end result because I felt the performance deserved the maximum points which is what we were hoping to achieve on the back of a great performance last time out.

“A lot of our play was good and progressive and on the front foot which is how I want my team to play.

“We got ourselves into a good position at 2-0 and if we had the capacity to just retain that lead for a little bit longer than we were able to I think we would have won it comfortably.

“Obviously that encouraged them and gave them a shift in momentum and they had a go and threw people forward and chucked balls into our box and we had to deal with them.

“We are a little bit disappointed with the award at the end because he’s a gig boy the big centre half and has gone down a little bit easy and the referee has decided it warranted a penalty at that late stage which is a shame.

“Overall there was a lot of things we can take credit for but we have got to find that capacity and that ability to see games out to a winning conclusion and at the moment that’s the one element of our play we are lacking on occasions.

“There have been too many occasions we have allowed winning positions to just drift away.

“I didn’t think that was really the case but you need that little bit of fortune when teams are throwing balls into your box you need that to protect the lead.

“We had that at Palace but tonight it was lacking and that’s why they were able to get the award of the penalty.

“They will think it’s more like a win whereas we view it more like a defeat.

“The reality is that it’s another Premier League point and points are like gold dust and you’ve got to take what you’ve got.”