Going Eighth Probably Didn't Help Brighton
Centre half Shane Duffy has said that going eighth in the Premier League table earlier in the season probably didn't help expectations at Brighton, but we know what we need to do to stay in the top flight this year and consolidate our position.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media this week as preparations continued for our trip to Stoke City this weekend, Duffy explained that despite an up and down season when it came to results, everyone in the dressing room was confident, motivated and focused on achieving our aims and that kind of spirit can only help.
'It`s a great changing room that`s had a lot of success over the last couple of years. It`s still been great this year, even through the low points where we haven't been winning. It`s a good changing room to be in and we always stick together. It really comes from the fans and everyone at the club, it`s probably one of the best changing rooms that I`ve been in.'
With Brighton now three unbeaten in recent matches, he went on to say.
'Coming into this run, if we don`t get the results that we probably expect or want, it`s important that we stick together. It`s what we`ve done this season when we`ve been through a tough spell, and it`s great to be in it because you know your team-mates have got your back.'
Sitting in 13th place following victory over West Ham United last weekend, we are only three points from the dropzone and that does make the result against Stoke key in many ways, but Duffy wanted to talk about our highest position reached earlier in the season in November.
'Going eighth in the Premier League probably didn`t help - some fans probably expected us to stay there. We had to get off to a good start and we did, we got early points on the board - but we never got too ahead of ourselves, and we knew we`d go through a tough spell when we played the top six. We`ve still got to play them and we know we`ve got a tough run-in, so we can`t get too ahead of ourselves.'
'Inside the dressing room, this is where we believed we could be. We believed we could push for the top ten and get out of danger - but it`s obviously a lot easier said than done.'
With 25 appearances in the top flight, Duffy has only missed one league game so far this season and he's played his part in keeping seven clean sheets and whilst he's determined to show further improvement one thing he's not going to bother working on is dribbing. His old school style of defending will do for him.
'I`m never going to be a centre-half that dribbles out of defence and sets up goals, and there`s no point on working on it because I`m not that kind of player. I want to get stronger and that`s about defending well and putting my body on the line to stop goals going in - that`s a part of my game that I feel I`m good at. You`ve got to want to put your head where it hurts, but I`m learning more about positioning and putting myself in the right position to clear balls. Maybe I don`t always have to throw my body on the line, maybe I could get a tackle in before - but that`s what I`m trying to learn.'