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Graham Potter says ‘warrior’ Shane Duffy is vital for Brighton against Palace

·3 min read

Brighton boss Graham Potter believes the warrior-like qualities of club great Shane Duffy are perfectly suited to the hostile environment of a visit to bitter rivals Crystal Palace.

Centre-back Duffy appeared surplus to requirements at the Amex Stadium last season after being allowed to move on loan to Celtic.

But the Republic of Ireland international is back in favour on the south coast and has been ever-present in Albion’s impressive start to the new Premier League campaign.

The 29-year-old, who helped the Seagulls win promotion in 2017 and then establish themselves in the top flight, is set to continue his resurgence on Monday evening at Selhurst Park, with head coach Potter seeking a first win over Palace at the fifth time of asking.

“He is a club legend – everyone loves him at the club,” said Potter.

“He’s a fantastic guy, a great character. Everyone is delighted that he’s back, that he’s playing, enjoying his football.

“As a human being, he’s someone you want in your corner, it doesn’t matter where you are. He supports the team, he supports the boys on the pitch. He’s a fighter, he’s a warrior.

“You want those guys with you in hostile environments and Selhurst Park on a Monday night is one of those things.”

In-form Brighton have taken 12 points from a possible 15 this term.

The short trip to south London could mark Tariq Lamptey’s long-awaited return to Premier League action.

Lamptey played the opening 45 minutes of the midweek Carabao Cup success over Swansea having been sidelined since December following a hamstring issue.

The 20-year-old has been hailed as “inspirational” for his attitude during the enforced lay-off, with Potter believing “the sky is the limit” for the full-back.

“Firstly, he’s just a amazing person, an amazing young lad,” said Potter, who is poised to include Lamptey in his squad against Patrick Vieira’s Eagles.

“He’s had a really tough time. He’s a human-being, so you’re going to be frustrated and you’re going to be disappointed and you’re going to be sad and you’re going to be angry – all of those things because he’s unable to do the thing that he’s really good at.

“But I must say how he’s conducted himself, how he’s acted, how he’s got on with his work is just inspirational really to everybody.

“His resilience, his mental strength, his capacity to deal with adversity is incredible and I think that’s credit to him and his family.

“He’s been fantastic around the place and I think he will use it as a way to strengthen and a way to grow and a way to improve – that’s how Tariq is.

“I think if he’s enjoying his football and he’s on the pitch and he’s happy, the sky’s the limit for him.”

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