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Dublin: 6°C Sunday 17 January 2021

Richie Towell: In all of my years of playing, I have never seen anything like that

The Dubliner is set to play a role in Brighton’s play-off second leg with a number of players ruled out through injury.

Towell in action against Sheffield Wednesday.
Towell in action against Sheffield Wednesday.
Image: David Davies

RICHIE TOWELL HAS been forced to bide his time since moving to Brighton and Hove Albion in January but he got his opportunity last Friday in the most unusual of circumstances.

Chris Hughton’s side were plagued by injuries during the first leg of their Championship play-off against Sheffield Wednesday with four players forced off.

Tomer Hemed, Anthony Knockaert, Connor Goldson and Steve Sidwell all suffered injuries at Hillsborough with the Seagulls ending the game a man and two goals down.

With the visitors down to the bare bones, Towell was given the chance from the bench as he made his first league appearance for the club.

The former Dundalk midfielder replaced Sidwell, who left the field on a stretcher, after 50 minutes.

“Obviously we’re all very disappointed and we don’t want to lose any game, but under those circumstances, it was a freak game with four players going off injured and ending the game with ten men too,” he told the club’s website.

“In all of my years of playing, I have never seen anything like that. You maybe have one or two, but never four players going off injured.

Middlesbrough v Brighton and Hove Albion - Sky Bet Championship - Riverside Stadium The Dubliner arriving for last week's game with David Stockdale. Source: EMPICS Sport

“It was great to come on, but to do so under those circumstances was unfortunate for the lads that had to come off, because you never wish injuries on any of your team-mates.

“We’ve got to pick ourselves up now, because we have to go again on Monday.”

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After agonisingly missing out on automatic promotion with a draw at Middlesbrough on the final day, Brighton must pick themselves up to overturn a two-goal deficit in the second leg.

Towell urged the passionate Brighton fans to rally behind the team at the Amex Stadium on Monday evening.

“We just needed to try and consolidate. We knew that we couldn’t go gung-ho to get a goal, we had to be patient and break when we got a chance,” he added.

“Sheffield Wednesday are a really good side and they brought on some dangerous players. We knew that we had to soak up the pressure and try to hit them on the break.

“They’ve [the fans] been great all season and I’m sure Monday will be no different.

“We’re definitely going to need the crowd to get behind us and I’m sure they will.”

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