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Saturday 1 October 2016

EXCLUSIVE: 'Richie Towell is a real talent' - Brighton boss Chris Hughton

Published 05/02/2016 | 14:34

Richie Towell signed for Championship side Brighton in November
Richie Towell signed for Championship side Brighton in November

Brighton manager Chris Hughton has told Independent.ie that Richie Towell faces a battle to get into his team as they chase promotion to the Premier League.

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Towell has been part of the Brighton first team squad since his arrival from Dundalk, but he has yet to make a start in the Championship for Hughton’s side.

Now the former Republic of Ireland international has told this website that Towell will have to be patient to force his way into a side that will look to secure a third successive win when they take on Brentford on Friday night.

“Richie has settled into well since his arrival at Brighton, but he is facing some tough competition to get into the team,” Hughton tells us.

“It is a big step forward coming from the Irish league and stepping into a side pushing for promotion to the Premier League and I always expected Richie would need some time to adapt.

“We decided to bring him in at this point in the season as it would give him a chance to appreciate what is required at this level and we can see the talent is there for Richie to do well here.

“You only have to look at his scoring record with Dundalk last year to appreciate that he is a player with real talent and I also sense he is a player who can play in a variety of positions, which will be in his favour as he looks to get into the team.

“At the moment, we have Dale Stevens and Baram Kayal playing in the central midfield roles for us and Richie will need to be patient as he waits for his chance. When it comes, he needs to take it.

“I look at next summer as being vital to Richie, as he will have a chance to work with the squad and get himself fully ready for what he needs to play at this level and I have high hopes that he will have a good career at Brighton.”

Hughton suggests his move to sign Towell is evidence that clubs in England are casting an eye over the Airtricity League when they spread their scouting net, but he accepts the challenge of breaking through in the Premier League or Championship is tougher than ever for young Irish players.

“There are vast scouting networks at most English clubs now and I have no doubt they are looking in Ireland,” adds Hughton.

“We certainly have people watching the Irish league for us and clubs like Reading have a long history of signing players from Ireland and enjoying success with them.

“Of course, it is difficult to get a chance at top Premier League clubs at a time when they are looking to sign the very best players in the world, but there are certainly opportunities out there for Irish players if they show the right levels of ability.”

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