Brighton ace says Lewis Dunk is 'destined for big things'

Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk celebrate the former's goal at Huddersfield earlier this season. Picture by Getty Images
Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk celebrate the former's goal at Huddersfield earlier this season. Picture by Getty Images

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy believes team-mate Lewis Dunk can reach the very highest level.

The pair have been central defensive partners for the last three years, firstly in the Championship and now in the Premier League.

Duffy was crowned Albion's player of the season on Sunday, while Dunk received the players' player award.

Irishman Duffy praised the duo's partnership and also backed Dunk to achieve big things in his career: "He's made my game a lot easier.

"Brighton fans probably don't want to hear it but he's destined for big things. It's only up to him if he wants to go to the very, very top.

"He's had a sniff of England and he wants to get back there and be a regular in that squad.

"He's got a great foundation here. He's got a manager who trusts in him, a great chairman, a great club.

"He's made me a lot better and hopefully I can continue to bounce off him."

Duffy also spoke about how his game has progressed during his time on the south coast and said: "I'm quite lucky to have a manager who trusts me and plays me quite regularly even if I do have a bad game.

"He's got full trust in me and I have trust in him. It gives me the opportunity to try to progress my game.

"I've had clubs, Everton for example, where it wasn't my time. I've got a manager here who fully believes in me and I feel like I'm improving game by game but I feel like I've got a lot more to give."

Albion boss Chris Hughton praised his defensive duo after Sunday's awards and said: "The best opportunity they've had to develop is because they've played a lot of games.

"We've seen that with some of the new players we've brought in, the more they play, the more they get used to the team and the division.

"They've had the benefit of that.

"Lewis has of course been here for a longer period of time and what I've seen in Lewis is his maturity as an individual as well as his maturity on the pitch.

"With Shane, we knew what we were getting - a big and in some ways old-fashioned centre-half. It's about homing his skills into what is a top league against top players.

"Credit to both of them, they have adapted really well and for that you've got to give them both credit.

"They're both tough individuals, they don't miss many games. Both of them have played with knocks that possibly other players wouldn't have played with and that gives them an opportunity to make real progress."

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