Neil Lennon has made an admission about Shane Duffy’s struggles heading into Celtic’s Europa League clash against Lille.
There is no hiding from the fact that Celtic have a lot of issues at the moment. And one of the biggest might be Shane Duffy looking out of his depth since joining the Hoops when it was expected that he would absolutely cruise through Scottish football.
Of course, these are still early days but one has to admit that the signs are not good and we can only hope that things get better for the Republic of Ireland international soon. Being a lifelong Celtic fan, one can imagine why he would take his failures harder than most other players.
Neil Lennon has revealed that he has had a talk with the centre-back heading into their Europa League clash with Lille. And while it looks like both manager and player are aware of the issues at hand, it does not appear that Duffy is going to be dropped, yet.
While speaking with Celtic TV and as reported by the Glasgow Times, the manager said:
"“Shane is a big, strong boy.“I had a chat with him the other night. He’s feeling it but he will come through it.“We just need to show him a bit of patience. He made a mistake at the weekend, but the vitriol that comes after it is incredible.“Again, it is my job to support him and that is exactly what I will do.“It isn’t the first time players have been thrown into the lion’s den in terms of insults and criticism.“I know what Shane is going through but he has the character and personality to bounce back straight away.”"
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One can understand why Lennon would be hesitant to drop Duffy form the starting XI. At the end of the day, he was the marquee signing of the summer and one the manager probably pushed for. In fact, the club are thought to be paying the entirety of his £40,000 per week salary while on loan.
But there is no denying the fact that things are not working out at the moment. Duffy has just been a mistake waiting to happen at the back since returning from the international break and if his performances don’t improve drastically, he will have to be dropped sooner or later.
There are people like Nir Bitton, Christopher Jullien and Hatem Abd Elhamed waiting in line who could easily play in that role and easily do a better job than Duffy has done over the last few weeks.
As a Celtic fan, you would hope though that he rediscovers his form as quickly as possible and he does not have to be dropped from the line up altogether. He has already proven himself in the Premier League and on top of his game, he can easily be one of the best defenders in the league.