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'I caused my own pain' - Richie Towell on his injury-plagued start to the season

With the Championship table toppers performing well, the ex-Dundalk star has found first-team action hard to come by.

Richie Towell has struggled for game time since moving from Dundalk to Brighton.
Richie Towell has struggled for game time since moving from Dundalk to Brighton.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

RICHIE TOWELL INSISTS he does not regret his move to Brighton despite the Irish midfielder suffering from a lack of game time since joining the Championship club from Dundalk just over a year ago, following a stellar season with the League of Ireland club.

The 25-year-old has registered just three senior appearances for the Seagulls so far, but is expected to make a rare outing against Lincoln in the FA Cup this weekend.

With the Championship table toppers currently performing well, Towell has inevitably found first-team action hard to come by, with manager Chris Hughton recently suggesting the Dubliner could go out on loan imminently with others ahead of him the pecking order at Brighton.

The former Hibernian and Celtic player’s first-team hopes were also not helped by an injury-troubled start to the season, which saw him miss virtually the entire first half of the campaign.

Towell now admits that “I caused my own pain”. The Irish midfielder was overly anxious to impress staff at Brighton and consequently over-extended himself in pre-season.

“I hadn’t played much when I originally came last year,” he told The Argus.

“So, in the off-season, I had it in my head that I was going to come back the fittest I’ve ever been.

I probably worked myself a little bit too hard. I had a hole underneath my knee and the cartilage was gone.

“The medical team put it down to the pounding. I was running on hard surfaces, road running, which obviously didn’t help.

I went to see a specialist in London. He said it could have been down to just wear and tear, doing too much on hard surfaces.

“I came back and did probably the first week and a half of pre-season.

“I felt really fit still and then I went and got the scan and was on crutches the next day. I was gutted.

It was sore, to be fair, but I was just trying to get through it to show the manager how fit I was and how much hard work I’d put in over the summer.

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“It kind of backfired on me, to be honest. Even when I went to New York for 10 days, I went running every single day.

Sometimes I was getting up at six in the morning going out running before my partner (Kelly) was even up.

“She must have been thinking I was crazy! But it was something I was willing to do to try and come back in the best physical shape possible. Obviously it didn’t go to plan.”

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Paul Fennessy

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