It looks like the out-of-favour Celtic star is back in Neil Lennon’s plans once again after his performance against Lille.
After a terrible run of form that produced just two wins in twelve games, Celtic managed to put in a good performance after a long time with their 3-2 win over Lille. Naturally, there were a lot of positives to take from the game.
The biggest of them was the emergence of David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro as first-team contenders. Both of them were brilliant and it will be a huge mistake on the part of Neil Lennon if he does not start them on Sunday against Kilmarnock.
It looks like it was not just the midfield who impressed the manager though but Shane Duffy as well. And that has brought him back into Lennon’s plans after spending several weeks warming the bench.
As reported by the Daily Record, the Celtic boss said:
“That was more like him. The little break out of the team has done him the world of good and he’s come back reinvigorated.
“I thought he played well the other night. He did what he had to do.
“It’s been tough for him with the amount of criticism he’s had to take. He has probably been taken aback because he’s probably not used to it.
“It can work both ways when you’re a fan of the club – you can try too hard. I think that’s been the case for him.
“He’s worked really hard behind the scenes. I’ve told him to stop being so hard on himself.”
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Duffy arrived at Parkhead to much fanfare in the summer transfer window on season-long loan from Brighton and Hove Albion. A lifelong fan of the Hoops, he was expected to be the man who added some much needed steel to their defence and lead them to 10IAR. It is safe to say that things have not gone as expected.
The Republic of Ireland international has looked out of his depth since moving to Scotland. While he did have a good career in the Premier League, it looks like a club like Celtic is just not the right fit for him. The fact that they keep the lion’s share of the ball has exposed his passing while his lack of pace has been taken advantage of by oppositions on the counter-attack.
While he was not terrible against Lille, he was not great either. And there are still mistakes in his game, that thankfully went unpunished on Thursday night. Let’s just hope that if he does get another extended run in the team, then he can take some confidence from the game and slowly become the player that the fans had thought they were getting.