‘Confident and Imposing’, Shane Duffy earns plaudits for defensive performance

SHANE DUFFY captained Ireland last night as Stephen Kenny’s side were defeated on penalties by Slovakia in Bratislava. The Celtic defender kept his play-off semi-final rivals out for 120 minutes but was forced to watch on as Ireland crashed out.

RTE’s Conor Neville sang Duffy’s praises following the game in his player rating piece, saying that captain Duffy was ‘confident and imposing’ at the heart of the Ireland defence – awarding him an 8.5/10.

“Entirely absent tonight was the defensive uncertainty that blighted Ireland’s September performances.

“The Derryman, with a month of football for the Scottish champions under his belt, was far more confident and imposing than last month’s shaky displays.

“The odd pass still went astray but he was an intimidating bulwark in the Irish defence when they came under pressure at times in the early part of the second half.

“Executed a Richard Dunne-in-Moscow style block from Haraslin on the 75th minutes when it appeared that Ireland had been cut open.”

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Duffy’s performances for Celtic in recent games have been brilliant as he has shown his worth. Dominant and composed, he is exactly what Celtic needed and will be relishing his first Glasgow Derby match next weekend.

His performances also silence pundit Gary Breen who suggested that Duffy’s move to Celtic would make him a worse defender, putting his Ireland jersey at risk.

Stephen Kenny rubbished these claims last month, saying that he was happy to see Duffy move to Celtic as it would give him the opportunity to compete for trophies and play European football.

The English-born defender, Breen, has said that the move could see Duffy becoming a worse player as he will not be as tested as he would be in England. Breen, who had spells at Barnet and Gillingham, said that Duffy’s place in the Ireland set up would be at risk due to bad habits picked up in Scotland but if this performance is anything to go by, he has improved under Neil Lennon.

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Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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