"There's no secret"; Shane Duffy explains why his performances have improved since Celtic
Former Celtic defender Shane Duffy has tried to explain why his performances have suddenly improved drastically since moving back to the EPL.
Duffy was on loan from Brighton last season in a move that looked picture-perfect for all parties. Celtic appeared to be sorting out their lack of power at centre-back, whilst Duffy was joining his boyhood club. Not to mention Brighton were getting rid of a player they clearly felt they no longer needed.
But it quickly turned into a disaster. We all know what happened. The mistakes started getting comical and it looked as if the veteran Ireland centre-back just couldn’t deal with the intensity of the pressure at Celtic Park.
In the end, it all blew up and he returned to Brighton. Typically, he’s been flying this season under Graham Potter, and Duffy has a fair idea of why that’s the case. As quoted by the Argus, Duffy said: “Good family, good friends, good people around you who pick you up when you’re down.
“I think if you speak to the majority of footballers, there are low points in your career, and that was mine. You’ve just got to have the mental strength to come out of it and bounce back and believe in your ability, and that’s what I’ve done.
“I’ve knuckled down and I’ve got a smile back on my face, I’m enjoying it again, so that’s it. There’s no secret there, I’m just back being happy.”
Shane Duffy and Celtic just wasn’t meant to be
It was a strange one this. Celtic looked for all the while as if they were getting a bruiser who could deal with Scotland’s most powerful strikers. A defender who was a commanding presence and would finally make us dominant in aerial battles.
In the early stages, that argument was only strengthened further. Duffy managed to net in his first 2 Premiership matches. In addition to that, he was looking comfortable enough with the ball at his feet and looked as though he would stroll it up here.
However, it became very clear early on that he just wasn’t suited to a high line. Something that he simply wasn’t used to during his Brighton days. He was consistently caught out for a lack of pace, and all of those individual mistakes clearly started taking their toll.
All of a sudden the errors were becoming comical. He was becoming a laughing stock up here, and it was evident that a change of scenery in the summer was always going to be required. Granted, it’s worth remembering that he was playing alongside team-mates who weren’t faring much better.
This, in the end, was a partnership that just wasn’t mean to be. He’s gone back down south with minimal pressure on his shoulders at Brighton. And in truth, he’s thriving in that kind of environment.
Good on him. It’s clear his failure at Celtic wasn’t down to a lack of endeavour. He simply didn’t suit our playing style when it came down to it.