Shane Duffy delivers a stark warning as Brighton battle to remain in Premier League
Defender Shane Duffy admits there will be times when Brighton and Hove Albion will have to do the ugly things if they are retain their Premier League status.
Albion remain just three points above the relegation zone after they fought back to claim a 1-1 draw against their relegation rivals Watford at the Amex Stadium last Saturday.
Brighton have been praised this season for their new passing style but at times on Saturday it was just like old times. Duffy was recalled to the side and Glenn Murray was once again leading the line as a determined and more physical looking Albion eventually ground Watford down and scored a leveller with just 12 minutes remaining.
It's the second consecutive match where Brighton gained a point from a losing position against a direct relegation rival. Murray netted an equaliser last time out at West Ham in the 3-3 draw and on Saturday, Adrian Mariappa's own goal gifted Brighton a draw after Abdoulaye Doucoure had put Nigel Pearson's well-organised Watford team ahead.
"Yes, it is a different style of change," said Duffy, who missed the West Ham match following the removal of a blood clot removed from his leg. "It’s just trying to balance it of when to do it and not.
"We’ve got to see situations better and it’s still a learning curve. He (Graham Potter) has only been here for six months. The last two weeks we’ve kind of gone back to basics and obviously last week was disappointing, even today was disappointing, so we just keep going and keep grafting.
"We want to stick to the way we play but there are going to be moments in games where you can’t do it. It’s sort of what they (Watford) did with two banks of four and we found it tough at times to break them down. So, we got to take that into our game and counter attacks like their goal and ultimately learn from it."
The points Brighton gained from recent draws against Aston Villa, West Ham and Watford keeps their heads above water but Albion's form remains brittle and they are yet to win or keep a clean sheet in 2020.
"We’re all quite positive, the performances are there," said the 28-year-old Irishman, who was Brighton's player of the year last season. "We are a confident team and I don’t think many teams would come and beat us convincingly.
"But as we keep saying, we’ve seen good teams go down in the past so we’re aware of it. We’re aware of where we are so we just need to keep grafting and keep going. You’ve seen the last three games, we have a never give up attitude which we had in the first half of the season – so it’s nice to get that bit back."
Solly March delivered a man of the match display against Watford. It was the midfielder's first start since recovering from a groin operation, while defender Dan Burn also played 60 minutes as he works his way back to full fitness following a fractured collarbone sustained against Chelsea on New Year's Day.
Duffy said, "We need everyone fit and Solly is another player who on his day can be the best player at the club. He knows his talent and potential.
"If you just give him a run of games and he hasn’t had that in a while, his potential is there, we just need him firing. Everyone’s coming back to fitness now and that’s what we need.
"We missed Dan (Burn) a bit. Bernado did well but Dan gives you something different and it was good to see him back out there. Everyone needs to keep it going, we have a winter break now and we can take our minds off things and sort of forget the pressure of being in a relegation battle.
"We just keep going and we’re looking forward to Sheffield United away."