Brighton's Shane Duffy signals his intentions ahead of Manchester United clash

Brighton and Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy insists he is fully prepared and ready to help the team once more ahead of their visit to Manchester United on Sunday.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 5:05 pm
Brighton and Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy celebrates his goal against Norwich City at the Amex Stadium last Saturday

Duffy, who has been on the bench in recent matches, was thrust back into the action against Norwich City last Saturday after an ankle injury to Adam Webster. Duffy came on in the 36th minute and produced an assured defensive display and also scored Albion's second goal when he converted Leandro Trossard's free-kick from close range.

Webster left the pitch on a stretcher last Saturday and barring a miracle recovery, it's highly-likely Duffy will resume his defensive partnership with Lewis Dunk and start against Manchester United at Old Trafford this Sunday.

"It was nice to get back out there and help the team," said Duffy. “I was fully prepared, obviously the manager has been great here and he knows he needs everyone. If you come on it is down to yourself and how you prepare, I prepare just in case I’m needed due to injury, whether that be first minute or 90th minute.

"That is down to the individual I think and I was ready. I didn’t make the starting 11 which was disappointing.”

Webster has impressed in the Albion defence following his £20m arrival from Bristol City. It has been a testing time for Duffy who is not used to being on the sidelines at Brighton but the Irishman insists it's all about the team.

“It is not really about me," said the 27-year-old. "I am happy about the team picking up points. The lads who are playing in front of me have been excellent, so I have no complaints. It is just down to me to keep working hard and football changes very quickly.

"I don’t like coming in when someone gets injured and it is one of my mates, so it is difficult for me because of how well he (Adam Webster) has been playing.

"But we have got a job to do for the team and I have played a lot of games for Brighton, so I am trying to my best on and off the pitch with them. Hopefully when I’m needed I can help the team and that’s what I did.”

Duffy is a constant threat from set-pieces and the 6ft 4" defender has netted 11 goals from his 109 appearances following his £4m move from Blackburn Rovers in August 2016. Against Norwich was the first to react to Trossard's in-swinging freekick and slid home a tidy finish from six yards.

“I feel like I can score anytime from a set piece if the ball is right," he said. "So it was a nice little bonus but the three points are the most important thing. It probably settled the game and took a little bit of nerves off the fans. It was a nice three points especially at home, but it is another big one next weekend (Manchester United).”

Duffy also had words of praise for fellow goal scoring substitute Trossard, who is back to full fitness following his groin injury. Trossard opened the scoring with a clever near post finish and also claimed a match-winning assist the previous week against Everton.

“He has been great, we have got players who are itching to play, you have got to be careful with Leandro because he had a bad injury and the manager doesn’t want to rush him back in, build him up and build the minutes up.

"Pascal (Gross) has been in good form as well. There is competition, everyone is pushing each other, which is great and it is really healthy for the squad. We are not relying on one individual, we have got a big and talented squad here.”

“He (Trossard) is his own player, he is quite unique and someone we don’t have. He has been brilliant, a breath of fresh air since he has come in. He was in good form before he got injured, which was disappointing.

"But you have got to build him up slowly and he is still adapting to a new country, a new league. You can see glimpses of him when he comes on he changes the game for us."