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Shane Duffy knew what was coming when he walked back into Albion’s training complex as an international goalscorer.

The big centre-back got off the mark for the Republic of Ireland with a soaring header in Georgia last Saturday.

He had one disallowed too in the next game, at home to Serbia – after club-mate Davy Propper had scored twice for the Netherlands on Sunday.

All that with the Seagulls yet to hit the target after three Premier League games.

Chris Hughton admitted yesterday the lack of goals has to be something of a concern until they start flying in.

The chances of that were not helped by the failure to recruit an additional striker on deadline day. But even Hughton saw the funny side of it when Duffy strolled in this week.

The defender revealed: “When I got back the manager just said to me and Davy, ‘Any chance of doing that for us?’ So no pressure this weekend!

“With the goal, we had worked on it a little bit. We knew the keeper would come for long throw-ins and long free-kicks.

“We decided to put it on top of him and see if he’d come – and he did!

“There might have been a little foul in there somewhere, but not from me. But the referee didn’t give it. I just got up above him and it bounced in.”

Hughton added: “The first thing the lads said was we need a few for us now!

“I was delighted for him to get on the scoresheet and he was unfortunate not to get on scoresheet in the second game.

“We need to score goals. We were very close at Watford, unlucky, hit the post twice, that’s the finer details.”

Duffy would love to help get his club on the goal trail - and believes he should probably have a few goals to his name for the Seagulls.

He went very close at home to Manchester City when a shot deflected just wide.

Defensive sidekick Lewis Dunk glanced a header wide at Watford when he maybe should have hit the target.

And the two centre-backs both found room beyond the far post to nod well-delivered set-pieces back into the danger area at Vicarage Road, again without reward.

That missing final touch was the cloud on a silver lining of an improved Albion performance.

But a lot of the encouragement from that display dissipated when the club failed to add to their strikeforce on August 31.

Duffy was away by then, on his way to scoring in Tbilisi, but he followed events with his Irish colleagues.

He said: “The transfer window was always on the TV. All the players were asking who was coming in.

“It’s the same as everyone, we just wait to see what comes out.

“I knew they were trying to get someone in but these things happen.

“Things fell through, medicals and the like, which was disappointing.

“But the important thing is the players who are here. That is what we have got to focus on.”

The Argus:

Shane Duffy celebrates his goal against Brentford last season

Now come a West Brom side who have not exactly been prolific in attack but have used their one goal per game to pick up seven points.

Boss Tony Pulis is believed to be an admirer of Duffy and was linked with a move for him when he was playing for Blackburn.

Duffy said: “The way I play and the way he likes to play, I can see that.

“There were reports but I don’t think there was anything in it.”

Hughton played down talk that this would be the game his side would be expect to win.

But he also said spirits remained good in the camp after a haul of one point to date.

The Albion boss said: “The three games have been relatively close. That’s the reason the spirit is good.

“You look for the transfer window to finish and all the speculation goes away, now it’s a good opportunity to work with the group of lads that we have.

“It’s not difficult because for all of us at this club they would rather be playing where they are now than where they were last season.

“Irrespective of how our season goes we will lose more than last and season and the season before.

“We knew that, it will be about adjusting and bouncing back.

“If anything the games become bigger but you have better preparation time and that’s something we will look forward to.”

A repeat performance from their big Irishman would not go amiss.