Date: 19th August 2011 at 11:30am
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Chris Hughton was pleased after seeing his side come away from the 0-0 draw with Nacional in Portugal last night, even though they hit the woodwork three times.

It was the first time Blues had played in European competition for 50 years but Hughton`s side looked the part as they defended brilliantly a well as hitting them with attacks as and when they needed to.

Now Blues have home advantage and although they did not get the away goal they wanted, they must fancy their chances of beating the Portugese side at St Andrews.

Talking to the Press Association after the game, Hughton said: ‘I’m very happy with the result. We played at a special stadium against a good team. Of course to get a draw away in a competition like this is always good.

‘Nacional were strong going forward and that made us work a lot, but the better goalscoring chances belonged to us and we could have won here.

‘Nacional started better and trailing at the beginning of a game is always bad. That didn’t happen and with time we improved and got a better performance.’

What made the result for Blues even better was the fact that they started the game with a depleted side. Cameron Jerome, Marlon King, Nikola Zigic and Jordon Mutch were all missing up front.

New signing Jonathan Spector made his debut, also starting out on the wing was 17-year-old Nathan Redmond.

‘The team had some limitations in terms of options and we played the available players whilst making some changes, and I have to admit the results went very well,’ Hughton continued.

‘Nacional are very strong on the counter-attack and away that characteristic can play a strong role for them. But at home, we have more responsibility to win.

‘The second leg won’t be easy for us. But as hosts we are the bigger favourites against a Nacional who have quality as they shown here.’

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