Richie Towell says he sees a good preseason as key to long-term prospects at Brighton & Hove Albion after failing to make the immediate impression he hoped for when he left Dundalk for the Championship club before Christmas.
“They were top of the Championship when I signed so I knew I wasn’t going over and going straight into the team, that was obvious,” says the 24-year-old, who was back in Ireland yesterday after winning the FAI’s Airtricity League Player of the Year award on Sunday evening. “This is probably a bedding-in period for me. I feel in training that I’m up to it. I just want to go out and play.
"I've spoken to him [Chris Hughton] quite a lot and he has told me to keep doing what I'm doing. On one hand, it is probably not a bad thing that he sees me doing well. It is just that the lads that have been in the starting centre-mid, Beram Kayal and Dale Stephens, to be fair, they've been flying.
“They’ve played well every week, they’ve been the mainstays in the team. For me to come in and uproot one of them was going to be tough. I just need to be patient.
“I think preseason is going to be massive for me,” said the Dubliner.
“I’ve already been on to Graham Byrne, our [Dundalk’s] strength and conditioning coach, going through the programme with him that I’ve set up already. I know it’s going to be massive for me. To be fair, the manager has pinpointed that as a really big stage for me as well. If we’re in the Premier League, even better.”