Brighton boss Gus Poyet hopes his side's single-goal win at home to Hull will prove the turning point of the season.

A late free-kick from substitute Vicente Rodriguez was enough to give the Seagulls maximum points and take them up to fourth, two points off the play-offs.

Poyet said: "This was a proper game in this division and, with none of the top 12 winning, we hope it's a turning point in terms of victories.

"I want us to be there at the beginning of April and it's totally up to us. It was important today and the players fought for it. It's there for us to take and we're going to try. Make no mistake, this was a big win."

Poyet had no doubt that former Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak played a vital role in only his team's third win in the last 11 league outings by producing two superb second-half saves.

The Uruguayan added: "Tomasz had the chance to show what he is all about and you need that kind of reaction. He produced two very good saves and the clean sheet was all-important."

Hull manager Steve Bruce bemoaned the failure to make the most of chances as his men missed out on the opportunity of going second in the table.

He said: "I'm frustrated.The first half was a non-entity in that we cancelled each other out but it was a very good game in the second half. We created great chances and could have gone 2-0 or 3-0 ahead. But we didn't take them and that is our Achilles heel."

This was only the third defeat Hull have suffered in their last 15 matches in league and cup and Bruce remains optimistic they can sustain a strong challenge from now until the end of the season.

He added: "A lot of teams are evenly matched in the Championship and we can finish in the top six. I hope that doesn't alter. It's cruel to be without our two strikers, but we are doing admirably well without them."