Shane Duffy 'forgot how it felt to play football' after Celtic loan misery and four months out

Shane Duffy has pledged to be back better next season after his miserable Celtic loan spell left him wondering what it was like to play football.

Shane Duffy in action for Celtic during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between Celtic and Lille at Celtic Park on December 10, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Shane Duffy in action for Celtic during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between Celtic and Lille at Celtic Park on December 10, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Irish defender was his national side’s man of the match against Hungary after being recalled to Stephen Kenny’s side for two friendlies this month.

It was the first match action for the Brighton defender since February and the experienced stopper had not featured since Neil Lennon left Parkhead.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Now Duffy is hoping “that’s the bad bit over” and he can kick on next season to build on his appearances for the Republic – and thanked his manager for the refresher in how to play football again after so long on the sidelines.

He said: “It’s always tough when you go through a tough spell and I think most footballers do in some part of their career.

“I’ve gone through it, I’ve got a great manager here who trusts me.

“I’ve got no complaints about not playing in the team. I’ve tried to play my role and help the younger lads.

“I haven’t been playing football, so I have total belief and thanks to the manager for giving me a game first and foremost.

“I enjoyed it again, I sort of forgot what it felt like to play football.

“Hopefully that’s the bad bit over and a little rest and I’m ready to be back next season, kick on and show everyone how good I am.”

Duffy was heralded as a major coup for Celtic last summer, joining on loan from Brighton, but the deal was a disappointment with fluctuating form leading to the defender falling out of favour.

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today