Chris Hughton admitted his Brighton side had to dig deep for their win over Wigan Athletic after a below-par first-half showing.
Latics had the better of the opening 45, but couldn’t convert their dominance into something tangible on the scoreboard.
And the visitors went home with all three points thanks to substitute Dale Stephens’ sensational 25-yard strike midway through the second period.
“We were far from at our best, particularly in that first half,” admitted Hughton.
“Unlike us, I thought we gave the ball away far too easily.
“But sometimes it’s like that, and there’s no particular reason for that.
“When it’s like that, you have to make sure you don’t concede.
“I thought we were fortunate to come in at half-time 0-0, and that gave us a chance in that second half.”
Hughton also hailed his match-winner, who hails from Bolton and also scored in Brighton’s last visit to the DW - a 2-1 defeat in April 2015.
“Dale, who was very much a regular for us last season, has found himself unfortunate to not be in the side this year,” added the Brighton manager.
“But I’m really pleased for him on the day.
“That’s what the subs come on for, and you very much hope that when someone comes on they show real enthusiasm to change the game.
“Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but I’m really happy for him.
“It had to be a really controlled strike, because as the ball came back to him it was bobbling a little bit.
“As well as the pace, he’s had to show real control on the finish, and it was a really good finish.”