Date: 25th October 2020 at 7:56am
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Neil Lennon has revealed that Shane Duffy underwent dental surgery ahead of the Glasgow derby.

The defender played in three international matches in seven days- covering Bratislava, Dublin and Helsinki before having emergency dental surgery as Lennon assembled his squad to prepare for the Derby fixture.

With Chris Julien injured while Hatem Abd Elhamed and Nir Bitton returned positive test results the Celtic boss was short of options in the centre of defensive.

Duffy has been slaughtered by fans and pundits for his performances in the derby and against AC Milan but putting things in perspective Lennon told the Daily Record:

Shane didn’t play any football for nine months. All of a sudden he’s played 14 games in about five weeks. He played all of the games for Ireland then he had an abscess in his mouth that was giving him a lot of pain.

He flew back into Glasgow last Thursday, had some emergency dental work and we had to roll him out on Saturday against Rangers.

He played on Thursday night but we’re curtailed in that he’s got no Bitton, Jullien or Elhamed beside him. In the main, his performances have been pretty consistent.

I know he’s under a bit of scrutiny because people are looking at him for some of the goals we’ve lost but we can’t pinpoint that on Shane. It’s a collective effort.

As the season unfurls and goes along, he’ll play a huge part and he’s a good type as well. We also have to remember that these boys are away from home.

This isn’t like the big lockdown where they were able to go home and visit their families. They’re in at training and then they’re restricted in where they can go.

Shane will eventually revel in the pressure of playing for Celtic but he’s only just in the door. He’s been thrown in without any real pre-season. He’ll get better and better and he’ll be a stalwart. The criticism of the team is justified at times, I get it but some of it on individual players is unfair.

At Brighton Duffy’s partnership with Lewis Dunk was the bedrock of the team for two seasons before Graham Potter took over from Chris Hughton.

In his first eight matches with Celtic the Irishman played alongside Kris Ajer, Bitton, Elhamed, Jullien and Stephen Welsh.