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CHRIS ON DUFF DANGER

Posted on 10 March 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton knows from personal experience the threat that could be posed by Damien Duff on Saturday afternoon.

Chris Hughton knows from personal experience the threat that could be posed by Damien Duff on Saturday afternoon.

The Republic of Ireland international winger is likely to appear at some stage - given the absence due to suspension for Chelsea of Arjen Robben - and the former assistant manager of his national team believes he is one of the finest players around.

"For me there is no doubt he is one of the best," said Chris, who worked with the former Blackburn leftie for three years at international level. "Ryan Giggs has been thought by most people to be the most natural wide player in the league over the years and Duff now comes into that category. Particularly as a left sided player, this is something of a commodity in today's game.

"His last two seasons at Blackburn were very productive and for me it was no surprise that he went to Chelsea. He is a top, top player, he can play on the left or right and they have engaged him in some different positions.

"He can play off the front, attacking midfield - a versatile player of very good ability.

"Damien is very exciting because when you are on the training pitch it is always exciting to see players who take people on, which is part of the game we seem to be losing these days. The trickery and pace to get past defenders he has in abundance, a characteristic of his game is that he can excite fans and lift the crowd.

"We certainly hope he doesn't have one of his better days on Saturday."