Duffy ready to make the most out of Premier League return

Shane Duffy. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Shane Duffy. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Albion defender Shane Duffy is relishing returning to the Premier League after a five-year absence.

The 25-year-old played five matches for Everton in the top flight at the start of his career but then dropped down to play in the Championship with Blackburn - and then the Seagulls.

Duffy feels he has improved as a player since last playing in the Premier League and cannot wait for the opening game of the season against Manchester City on August 12.

He said: “I probably wasn’t ready to play for Everton at the time and I was only a kid coming through their academy.

"It’s difficult to take a drop down sometimes, but it’s worked out now because I’m back feeling fit and ready to make the most of it.

“I didn't want to leave Everton and always wanted to break through there, but sometimes you are not ready.

“If I am being honest with myself, I wasn’t good enough to break through. It took a few years, I learned the game and now I am back in the Premier League and playing international football too.”

Ireland international Duffy will come up against some of the top strikers in the world next season and he says the team cannot afford to give too many chances away: "The strikers are the main difference [compared to the Championship]. In the Premier League you’ve got the likes of Aguero, Lukaku, Kane. You don’t have that level of quality in the Championship.

“They’ll take more of their chances compared to those in the Championship. So we can’t afford to give away as many chances this season; it’s something we’ve got to improve on. It is going to be a big task for all of us but we’ll give it our best shot.”

Duffy's ultimate aim next season is staying in the Premier League with the Seagulls and qualifying for the World Cup with Ireland.

He said: "It would be a fantastic season if we can secure our place in the Premier League and Ireland qualify for the World Cup.

"That will be my aim and it would be a great year all round.”

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