"An experience"; Celtic defender Shane Duffy reacts to Ireland's test scare yesterday

By David Walton

October 12, 2020

Celtic defender and Ireland captain Shane Duffy has been reacting to the positive test that rocked his international camp on the morning of a crucial game.

As Ireland prepared to face Wales later on in the day, their FA produced a statement informing supporters that a member of the playing squad had tested positive. Four of their team-mates also had to isolate – leaving Celtic fans fearful that Duffy was going to be one of them.

In the end, the on-loan Brighton defender wasn’t one of the players concerned, and ended up playing 90 minutes for Ireland in their 0-0 draw with Ryan Giggs’ Wales.

Shane Duffy rises in Slovakia (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

And he’s been reacting to the saga too as he gets set to play one final match for his country before heading back to Glasgow ahead of Saturday’s derby.

As quoted by RTE Sport, Duffy said: “It’s been an experience I’d say. I don’t know what to say about it really, there’s something new every day so it’s just about adapting and trying to do our best. No-one knows what’s happening and it’s just getting thrown on us every day – something different – so we’ve just got to keep adapting. This is probably the year we’re in.

“We’ve got good medical staff here, we’ve got the best so we’ve got to trust them. It’s all over the world, we can’t do nothing about it. We’ve just got to be careful, do all the right things and obviously try to social distance. I know it’s quiet difficult and people are getting ruled out with their close contacts, it’s very unfortunate.

“It’s hard because no-one knows what’s happening. There’s nothing even wrong with the players but they’re getting ruled out so it’s quite frustrating, but they’re the rules and we’ve got to adapt.”

The one man Celtic can’t afford to pick anything up

It’s a shame that this weekend’s derby clash is being so dominated by the global health pandemic. The last thing we want is to be focusing on a deadly disease as opposed to actually analysing where the squad is at ahead of Saturday.

However, with the concerns we already have at the back with Nir Bitton out and potentially Hatem Elhamed, Duffy needs to stay fit. If he has to self-isolate for whatever reason, then Neil Lennon is going to have a major headache.

Another defensive injury and Celtic have absolutely no cover for the back-line. Indeed, Stephen Welsh may even need to be thrown in, although Lennon would most likely choose to change the system rather than go down that route.

Shane Duffy played 90 minutes against Wales (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Duffy’s final match for Ireland takes them to Finland before he immediately makes his way back to Scotland. And what’s even more frustrating is that preparation for this match is already extremely tough as it is.

Ireland travel to Finland on Wednesday night. Scotland, meanwhile, host the Czech Republic on the same evening. Celtic have to then try and get their players back to Lennoxtown immediately and will effectively only have the Friday to drill some real match prep into them.

So at the very least, we need Duffy coming back fit and ready for the derby. Even at this early stage, it already feels like we can’t afford too many more of these positive tests/close contact occurrences.

In other news, a British footballing icon has hailed a vital 2019 Celtic appointment.