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Linking up with Ireland 'will be good' for under-fire Aaron Connolly

The 21-year-old was recently disciplined by the club for a breach of coronavirus restrictions.

Aaron Connolly [file photo].
Aaron Connolly [file photo].
Image: PA

BRIGHTON MANAGER GRAHAM Potter says linking up with the Republic of Ireland team for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers “will be good” for Aaron Connolly.

The 21-year-old was recently disciplined by the club for a breach of coronavirus restrictions after he reportedly invited a woman into a house in which he had been staying.

Connolly received criticism over the incident, which added to his recent woes, as the striker has struggled with injuries, including a back spasm and a cracked rib.

He resumed training ahead of Brighton’s clash with Newcastle on Saturday but wasn’t included in the matchday squad as the club believed he needed a few more days of rest.

“He has been injured,” Potter told the Brighton & Hove Independent while also insisting that the decision to omit him from the squad was not for disciplinary reasons.

“He has just had a couple of days training so we did not want to rush him back. He needed more time. He will available for the Irish national team and I think that will be good for him.

“Aaron has been really good. He’s trained, he’s been injured, he cracked his rib. He has trained the last few days and trained really well.

“He knows he’s made a mistake and let himself and the team down and he’s accepted that, we have dealt with that and we have moved on.”

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Potter added: “I felt he needed a few more days training before he was available for the bench and I think he will get that when he goes away with the national team.

“That is good for us and it is good for him. He understands what has happened but we have to move on and accept the mistake and move on.”

Ireland will face Serbia in the first of their World Cup qualifiers this week when they travel to Belgrade for Wednesday’s fixture. They will then host Luxembourg on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium, before preparing for a friendly against Qatar on 30 March in Hungary.

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