Shane Duffy has hailed the Brighton & Hove Albion dressing room as the best he has ever been involved in.
The Republic of Ireland international, who has made eight appearance for his country, boasts Everton and Blackburn Rovers in his former sides, but has poured praise on the current group at the Championship side.
Duffy, speaking with a bruise on what he admitted was a ‘sore’ nose from having it broken in the 1-1 home draw with Ipswich Town on Tuesday night, revealed he will train tomorrow and expects to be fine for Saturday’s trip to Barnsley.
Albion have won just one of their last five in all competitions, but despite that, Duffy says the mood is as good as ever in changing room, “It’s always good, always good in our group,” he quipped.
“We have had some tough times recently obviously on the pitch, but listen, it’s the best group of lads I have been involved with.
“If you’re down, you’re not down for long. You are back in the air, it’s a good environment and everyone is looking forward to the next game.
“Everyone has been on that it’s been tough times recently, but it’s not really been tough when we are still four points clear of fourth place and second in the Championship, so we are still in a healthy position and confident we can be where we want to be in May.”
But the 25-year-old has said any talk of last season’s disappointment on missing out on promotion is not being used to spur on momentum this year.
He added: “It’s not mentioned much, it’s gone. I think we did that earlier in the season, maybe they might use it in their games, thinking they have been there before, but I haven’t so I don’t last year has been talked about.
“Not be me anyways, maybe with other groups of players, but I am sure it will help if they know where they were last year and use it to get over the line.”
And on Saturday’s trip to promoted side Barnsley, Duffy added: “The manager stresses we go into every game the same and I know everyone will look at the Reading and Newcastle game, but the Barnsley game is just as important to us, if we don’t get the three points there, then it is even bigger for us to go into those games.
“They are huge because they are up there, but we have to look a Barnsley first and we will look at them at the time. This Saturday is huge, especially after the disappointment on Tuesday night and the last couple of away games.”