Brighton boss Gus Poyet believes Leonardo Ulloa's form can power their play-off challenge at a vital stage of the season after the Argentinian striker hit a hat-trick in the 4-1 victory over Huddersfield.

Ulloa has now scored five goals in seven games since signing for £2million from La Liga side Almeria during the January transfer window and Poyet felt his performance was a perfect illustration of his abilities.

Brighton's third successive win puts them only two points behind fifth-placed Leicester and Poyet said: "When you sign a player like Leo you want to show to people why you signed him. We didn't have the kind of player he is and his second goal especially showed his quality. He has timing, jumping and power.

"During the week he was really confident and that is the key. You have to trust your own ability and he trusts his ability, especially with heading. He really believes in what he does."

Poyet is convinced Ulloa will give Brighton an extra edge in the run-in and revealed the player himself has got the aim of playing in the Premier League, adding: "Leo wanted to come here to help us achieve what we want to achieve. To go on and play in the Premier League you need to score a lot of goals in the Championship."

Poyet felt it was worth stressing that Brighton's fourth victory in five games was achieved without key players Wayne Bridge, Vicente Rodriguez and Liam Bridcutt.

The Uruguayan added: "That is the difference between this season and last season. The players know the chance we lost last year when we didn't finish well when we were fifth. Now there is confidence building among the players and they don't want to lose this chance again."

Huddersfield manager Mark Robins admitted that his men "capitulated" after conceding Ulloa's second goal which followed a corner which he was convinced that Brighton should never have been awarded.

A goal by James Vaughan just before the interval had cancelled out Ulloa's opener, and Robins said: "For 74 minutes I thought we'd get something from the game. But it wasn't a corner and then we conceded. We can't blame the referee but the second goal led to a capitulation.

"The two goals that followed came as a result of us thinking about the mis-fortune we suffered. Up to then Brighton hadn't hurt us very much. We had taken four points in our previous two games and we wanted another point or three, but it was unfortunate we conceded when we did."