New Celtic defender Shane Duffy has revealed that Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny is “delighted” he made the move to Parkhead.
Duffy played 90 minutes in both of Kenny’s first two matches as Ireland boss immediately after signing for the Hoops. Kenny also made the new Celtic man captain for both of those games too.
Duffy is at Parkhead on a season-long loan from Premier League outfit Brighton, with his move coming in for stick from former Ireland international Gary Breen. Breen said that it was a “concern” he had moved to Scotland and that he could pick up “bad habits” (Off the Ball).
However, it appears that Kenny seen a lot more sense when he spoke to Duffy about the move.
As quoted by FourFourTwo, the centre-back said: “I did speak to him. When I did sign I was with Ireland so we had a chat and he was delighted that I made the move here and he knows it can help me get better.
“Obviously Celtic play a lot with the ball and a lot higher up the pitch which is something that I wasn’t doing at Brighton so he thinks it can improve my game in that way and just the mentality of winning every single week and if I can bring that to the Ireland squad, he was all for it, of course.
“He knows Scotland, he knows what it’s about. I’m just going to keep my head down, keep working hard and trying to improve so if my form is good at Celtic that can take care of Ireland which everyone knows is a big thing for me as well.”
It’s important for Duffy to know his international manager has his back
It’s massive for Duffy to know that Kenny fully backs his move to Parkhead, as it can be a key part of a player’s thought process when it comes to his long-term future.
In a way, this could prove to be a positive in helping to keep Duffy at the club beyond the end of the season. Of course, we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.
But it’s also not just baseless either. There are genuine reasons outlined by Duffy that Kenny explained as genuine positives and how they can help Ireland as a whole.
He talks about bringing a winning mentality to the national set-up. That’s something not one of their players has at the moment, or certainly not one as intense as what Celtic instill into their players. Yet he also talks about how playing in a high-line will also help how Kenny as he looks to bring a similar system to the Irish set-up.
It also helps of course that Kenny has managed in Scotland. He was once manager of Dunfermline between 2006 and 2007, so will understand the level that Duffy is coming to.
So after Breen’s comments earlier this week, it’s nice for Duffy to know that it isn’t a view that’s reflected around Ireland as a whole.