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Club News


19 January 2019

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy has been pleased with the way his team-mates have adapted to their recent formation change, but highlighted the need to remain defensively resolute ahead of today’s game at Manchester United.

The Seagulls have changed to a 4-3-3 formation from their more frequently deployed 4-4-1-1 formation, and Duffy believes the new shape has proved beneficial since it was introduced by manager Chris Hughton.

He said, “With the players we’ve got at the minute, I think the new formation suits us. Since we’ve changed, the results have picked up and the performances have been better.

“It’s been different — it’s better for us on the ball, because we’ve got more options in midfield to play out.

“Dale’s been playing in the middle and the two either side of him have been pressing forward a lot more — but we’ve always got the cover from Dale if there’s a top number ten in there.

“It also gives our wingers more of a chance to get up the pitch and support whatever striker is playing.

“I think it’s working well — but obviously when we’re playing the top teams, we turn into a five and make ourselves harder to break down.”

The Irishman has found the back of the net four times in the Premier League this season, making him the top scoring defender in the top flight, but Duffy is keen to build on his fruitful spell in front of goal.

“I’m happy that I’m contributing goals, but I feel as though I can score even more. Last season was disappointing for me, not scoring at all in the Premier League.

“I set myself a goal for this season and I feel like I’m always getting better — I have four goals so far, but I feel there’s plenty more to come.

“You always go through little dips and have a few bad games, but I feel like I’m playing okay at the minute, and with some big games coming up, hopefully I can keep that up.”

Duffy and his defensive team-mates have played in front of a different goalkeeper over recent weeks, after Maty Ryan departed for the Asian Cup, and the 26-year-old praised David Button for his performances since coming into the fold.

“The recruitment team always knew Maty was going for at least a few games and they worked hard on getting the right goalkeeper to fill in for Maty while he’s gone.

“David has been brilliant — Jason Steele as well — they’ve both been pushing Maty Ryan the whole way, bringing the best out of each other.

“I’m delighted for Butts more than anything, he’s worked hard and it’s not nice being a backup goalkeeper and not playing every weekend.

“He’s shown a lot of confidence, he’s come for crosses and made saves when he’s needed to. He got his chance, he’s taken it and hopefully that continues.”

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