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'Coming from a bad place to do what he's doing now is excellent' - Brighton skipper hails Duffy

Lewis Dunk is ‘buzzing’ for the resurgent Ireland defender.

Shane Duffy with Brighton defensive colleagues Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk.
Shane Duffy with Brighton defensive colleagues Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk.
Image: Kieran Cleeves/PA Wire/PA Images

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION captain Lewis Dunk has praised team-mate Shane Duffy for defying his struggles at Celtic since returning from his spell in Scotland.

Despite fears during the summer that he no longer had a future at Brighton, the Republic of Ireland defender has yet to miss a second of Premier League action this season.

A promising start, which has seen them win three of their four games, leaves Graham Potter’s side in sixth place in the table ahead of Sunday’s visit of Leicester City.

Shortly after the untimely death of his father, Duffy joined Celtic on a season-long loan. The Derry native’s abject form in Glasgow ultimately mirrored a wider malaise at the club.

Having since admitted that he hit “rock bottom” during his season away from Brighton, the 29-year-old centre-back has responded well following a testing time in his career.

“I’m buzzing for him,” said Dunk, who helped Brighton keep their third clean sheet of the season against Brentford on Saturday while flanked by Duffy and Adam Webster in a back-three.

“Everyone knows he’s been through a tough time on and off the pitch. He obviously struggled up in Scotland, it wasn’t nice for him and it wasn’t nice seeing my mate like that.

“He came back in pre-season and he has earned the right to play, so all credit to him for bouncing back. Coming from a bad place to do what he’s doing now is excellent.

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“He showed during the international break what a good player he is for Ireland, as well as here, so I’m buzzing to have him alongside me and it’s a pleasure to have him back.”

In the absence of the injured Seamus Coleman, Duffy captained Ireland while earning his 47th cap in last week’s 1-1 draw with Serbia in the World Cup qualifiers.

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Paul Dollery

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