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BRIGHTON boss Gus Poyet is thrilled to have Ash­ley Barnes back af­ter the striker’s sev­en­match ban ended.

Barnes was con­tro­ver­sially sent off and then banned for ap­par­ently try­ing to trip ref­eree Nigel Miller against Bolton in March. But on his re­turn to teh Brighton side, he scored twice as the Seag­ulls mauled Black­pool 6-1 last week­end.

Poyet ad­mits it feels like he has bought a new player, and it could not come at a bet­ter time with the play-offs just around the cor­ner at the Amex Sta­dium.

“I’m pleased for him. I know how much it hurts with the prob­lem that he had and how dif­fi­cult it was to cope with seven games away,” he said.

“I know how much we missed him be­cause he wants to play for us, do well and help the team some­how.

“He helps us with goals and by work­ing hard to give us an­other op­tion while de­fend­ing.

“Some­times it’s with qual­ity and some­times it’s work­ing hard and giv­ing us an ex­tra op­tion at the back, which shows he cares for the football club.

“If there was one player who needed a lit­tle bit of luck it was Ash, so we are all de­lighted for him.”

BACK: Ash­ley Barnes

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