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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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'I've no hard feelings' - Duffy reacts to frosty reception on return to Ewood Park with first Brighton goal

The Irish centre-half is enjoying life at the table-topping Seagulls.

Duffy powering home his header last night.
Duffy powering home his header last night.
Image: Martin Rickett

SHANE DUFFY’S NIGHTMARE start to the season seems a distant memory as the big defender scored his first goal for Brighton in their 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers last night.

Ireland international Duffy had three own-goals and a red card to his name after the opening four games of the campaign with Rovers before earning a £4 million (€4.7m) move to the Seagulls in August.

Since then, the 24-year-old has been an ever-present at the heart of the Brighton defence as Chris Hughton’s side once again push for that elusive promotion to the top flight.

Booed by the home supporters on his return to Ewood Park, Duffy put the visitors ahead with a powerful header on 16 minutes and he was glad to finally open his account for his new club.

“I think it was coming, unfortunately it was against Blackburn but I’m delighted to get off the mark, and obviously the three points are most important,” Duffy told the club’s website.

“I was disappointed that I hadn’t scored yet, because it’s something that I’ve tried adding to my game and I’ve been close in the last couple of weeks.

“I just had a feeling that it might be the night. The first chance I got, I stuck it away, and hopefully that’s me up and running.”

On the frosty reception from Rovers fans, he added:”It’s football at the end of the day. I’ve no hard feelings against them. They were giving me some, I just gave it back.”

Source: Official Brighton & Hove Albion FC/YouTube

Fellow Irishman Daragh Lenihan started in defence for Owen Coyle’s men, while Anthony Stokes and Jack Byrne were unused subsitutes. Meanwhile, Richie Towell didn’t make the squad for the away team despite impressing for their U23s in recent weeks.

The victory saw Brighton climb two points above Hughton’s former club Newcastle United at the summit of the Championship table, although the Magpies can reclaim top spot with a win away to Wigan Athletic tonight.

Duffy knows it’s still early days in the title race but they have positioned themselves well to make another genuine challenge for the automatic promotion spots having narrowly missed out on a couple of occasions in recent years.

It’s great that we’ve got so many players that can come in, so credit to the manager for getting this squad together,” he added.

“There’s still a long way to go, we’ve just got to keep winning our games. It’s nice to be up there, but tomorrow we might be off the top again.”

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Ben Blake

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