Shane Duffy has managed to get a few games under his belt with Ireland over the last week but the Celtic new Bhoy has admitted to the media that he still needs to improve his fitness if he wants to gain a weekly role with the Scottish Champions.
Duffy was part of the Ireland defence that lost a cheap goal to Finland in last night’s Nations League defeat at the Aviva Stadium. The Finns took the spoils with a 1-0 success, as the Celtic man got another 90 minutes into his legs.
The big defender also managed to play the full 90 minutes last Thursday against Bulgaria and scored the last gasp goal which clinched a draw.
The Irishman’s last competitive game was against Manchester United in June and now Duffy confirms that there is still work to do regarding his fitness levels.
And speaking in comments published by Independent.ie, Duffy acknowledged he’s got a bit to go as he looks forward to more minutes.
“It’s been tough, very tough. I haven’t played a lot of football in a year. That’s where I want to be, playing every week. I know it’s not perfect, I’m my biggest critic and I’ve got to improve and keep going. I know what I need to do, to get back to my best.
“Them slight seconds for the goal tonight, you’re tired. You try and stay up and go on the run. I back myself and I don’t see many players really getting the better of me. I’ve got to deal with big spaces and being on the ball, I’ve got to get better with that.
“It’s easier said than done. I keep going back to it, we’re not at match fitness. We’ve never been in international games like that before. First half I got done with Pukki and obviously for the goal. There’s a lot of improvement to be done.”
It’s good to hear that Duffy knows himself that he’s not 100 percent ready and Celtic can work with him to get the defender to a level that he can play every match for the Scottish Champions, we could expect to see Duffy gradually introduced to the squad in phases.
Celtic are not playing until Saturday as the Hoops face off against Ross County, we could be lucky and get to see Duffy in action but going with Lennon’s approach to players who aren’t fit enough we might not either.