Ben Finnegan
Ben Finnegan

14.28 7 Oct 2019


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Brighton and Hove Albion manager Graham Potter says Republic of Ireland underage-international Aaron Connolly "showed his quality" from the day he joined the Premier League club.

The Galwegian scored twice at the weekend as the Seagulls beat Tottenham Hotspur at home 3-0, to push them into 14th position in England's top-flight.

Potter said, “the decision to select him was probably a combination of reflecting on the Chelsea game, his performances in training, and how he helps with the mentality of being positive and the way he challenges centre-backs.

“He’s a really good lad and is only 19, so there will be times when he’s mature and times when he acts his age.

“That’s normal, but from day one he showed his quality, and he wants to run in behind and threaten the goal. They’re two very good qualities to have.”

The Seagulls manager was praised for the Brighton victory over the weekend against the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finalists, he said, “I wanted to try and be a bit more positive in a 4-4-2, press their back four, be compact, and get our strikers in the game with the width coming from our full-backs.

“Sometimes your ideas work and sometimes they don’t; we needed a bit of luck as well with the first goal, but I don’t think anyone would begrudge us the three points.

“There hasn’t been a win here for a while, so it’s normal that people are not sure what to expect, so it was up to us to set the tone of the game. Everyone as a group wants to defend a bit higher, press and be proactive in and out of possession.

“Sometimes the opposition can be too good and play through you, but we wanted to take that chance against a good team.”

Following his performances over the weekend, Mick McCarthy has called the 19-year-old into the Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland, with McCarthy saying his "deserves this chance."

Former Republic of Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham gave his view about whether Connolly should be brought straight in, saying "I think it's an easy one to say off the back of his performance at the weekend.

"He got two goals, he's the form striker and he's confident. But I think it's easy to say, 'Put him straight into the team,"


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Aaron Connolly Brighton Brighton And Hove Albion Galway Premier League Republic Of Ireland Tottenham

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