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Potter – Connolly Has Plenty To Work On

Potter – Connolly Has Plenty To Work On

Brighton boss Graham Potter says Aaron Connolly is at an important point in his young career where he must “focus on his football and try to improve”.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international impressed as a second-half substitute against Newcastle on Sunday, seeing a goal-bound effort acrobatically cleared off the line by Fabian Schar.

The 19-year-old, who has impressed at youth level for the Seagulls, is expected to get another chance to showcase his first-team potential in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup tie at home to Aston Villa.

Potter is expected to make changes for the third-round clash as some fringe players and youngsters are given the chance to shine.

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Potter believes Connolly, who scored his first senior goal in the last round against Bristol Rovers, has all the required talent to make an impact but still has plenty to learn. “He has been with us since the start (of the season) and trains every day with the group,” the Brighton boss said.

“Aaron feels comfortable with the boys – you can see his qualities, he wants to run and score goals. “But he is a young player and we are just making sure he has the right pathway to the team and help him to improve every day.

He is at that stage of his career where he just needs to focus on his football and try to improve, to understand the opportunity he has got.”

Connolly has been tipped for some time to make the breakthrough to the senior set-up at the Amex Stadium and has continued to score goals for the Under-23s this season, hitting three in two Premier League 2 appearances.

The youngster has come off the bench three times for the first team so far, making his debut in the 4-0 defeat at Manchester City before featuring late on in the draws against Burnley and Newcastle.

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