Will O'Callaghan
Will O'Callaghan

22.08 12 Nov 2020


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Former Republic of Ireland defender Damien Delaney is backing Shane Duffy to shake off a recent period of poor form for club and country.

Duffy was part of the Ireland team beaten 3-0 by England in this evening's friendly at Wembley and the centre-back's performances have also been criticised at his new club Celtic.

"An absolute crisis of confidence is all I can put it down to", Delaney diagnosed of Duffy's recent showings on The Football Show on Off The Ball tonight.

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"On the set-pieces he's been defending, he's been a long way away from Harry Maguire and the only thing I can put it down to is a lack of confidence.

"You just have to keep going and play through it. You've got to keep working through it and doing all the right things, all the things you should be doing.

"You're hoping that something changes and that something clicks. It can be as simple as one incident...one good piece of defending and then the confidence comes flooding back.

"At the moment he looks a shell of the the player we've come to know. He is a talismanic character for Ireland and maybe that's weighing down on him slightly, I'm only speculating."

Duffy moved on loan from Brighton to Celtic this season and Delaney says the 28-year-old has endured a mixed start at Parkhead.

"He started brilliantly and then he came off it a little bit and criticism came his way. which is always going to come at Celtic.

"I'd say he's surprised and a bit taken about by the level of criticism that he's received and that was before he really had a drop off in form.

"I think he had a couple of mediocre games, which are par for the course. All of a sudden the spotlight falls on him and the level of pressure that brings with it is different to what he would have faced at Brighton.

"He needs to learn how to deal with that and he will be learning. Neil Lennon took him out of the lineup last weekend, I think he'll be learning from that and how not to take that to heart.

"He's such a good fella and such a good player and so important for Ireland, I hope it does fall for him sooner rather than later.

"He looks like he's caught in a bit of a tailspin for club and country but he's too good a player not to come out of it and he's too mentally strong, I know he is.

"I know he'll be hurting but he's learning and he just needs to figure it out."


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