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Potter hails Duffy after 'difficult time'

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Shane Duffy. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA

Shane Duffy. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Shane Duffy. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA

Brighton boss Graham Potter has praised Ireland defender Shane Duffy for his contribution to the club's battle to avoid the drop against a backdrop of family tragedy.

Duffy was an unused sub for the Seagulls' first Premier League game after the disruption due to Covid-19 - a 2-1 win over Arsenal - but the Derry native came off the bench to feature in last week's draw with Leicester, and he's in the frame to start in tonight's game at home to Manchester United.

Duffy has endured a difficult year as his father, Brian, died suddenly at the age of 53 last month, just 10 weeks after the death of the defender's paternal grandmother in her native Donegal.

"Shane has had a difficult time, so it was great for him to contribute last Tuesday," manager Potter said of Duffy.

"He's been first class around the place. He's a great example for us. Nobody was happier than him after the Arsenal win. He'll always fight and compete for you."

Potter has stressed the importance of having a squad in the Premier League run-in, with so many games in a short space of time and five substitutions allowed.

"It's normal that every player wants to start the game, but if you look at the Arsenal win from our perspective the guys that finish the game are so important," he added.

"They have to be ready - whether that's for three minutes or 30 minutes," he added.

Irish Independent