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sad week Graham Potter hails Shane Duffy after starring role for Brighton following family bereavement

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Brighton'a Irish defender Shane Duffy tackles Arsenal's Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during last Saturday's Premier League draw. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Brighton'a Irish defender Shane Duffy tackles Arsenal's Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during last Saturday's Premier League draw. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Brighton'a Irish defender Shane Duffy tackles Arsenal's Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during last Saturday's Premier League draw. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Brighton boss Graham Potter has hailed Ireland defender Shane Duffy as he was able to cope with a family bereavement to deliver for his club.

Duffy signed off from club duty ahead of Ireland's World Cup tie in Azerbaijan by helping the Seagulls to a clean sheet in their scoreless draw with Arsenal, Duffy's seventh Premier League start of the season. That was another boost for the Derry native who was in Dublin to train with the Irish squad on Monday, with a flight to Baku on Wednesday.

“I thought it was a physically demanding game for him but he came through it really well. I am delighted for him," said Potter.

“He had a really tough week. A family member passed away so our thoughts are with his family. It has been a sad week for him.”

Speaking after the game, Duffy said the side's positive start to the season - Brighton are level on points with third-placed Manchester City - was down to the manager's approach.

“We’re all pushing in the same direction. That’s what he has created here. No one blames anyone. We all take it collectively," Duffy said.

“Someone makes a mistake, someone scores a winning goal, it makes no difference. It’s all of us and that’s the way it is. No one gets singled out for an unbelievable performance and no one gets hammered for doing something wrong.

“We’re all level-headed at this club. There are no superstars, we’re all really good players and that’s the way we are. We bond really well as a team off the pitch as well as on so it’s going in the right direction.”

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