Pat Bonner has urged Shane Duffy to go back to basics to turnaround his Celtic career.
The Irishman was built up as a defensive saviour after the club’s soft centre was exposed by Ferencvaros as they departed the Champions League.
After virtually nine months out of action Duffy was thrown into a crash course of matches for club and country.
Defending for Brighton or Ireland is very different to the expectations at Celtic, during the Glasgow Derby Duffy and his fellow defenders Kris Ajer and Stephen Welsh had more time on the ball than any of their team-mates.
The on loan defender has been at fault for goals in Celtic’s last three matches, at Aberdeen on Sunday he was caught in two minds between clearing his lines and making a pass with the Dons breaking clear to score their second goal.
Bonner has watched Duffy battle his way through from rejection at Everton onto Blackburn and Brighton to become captain of Ireland.
Looking at the situation Duffy finds himself in, Bonner told the Daily Record:
Shane has proved himself as a top-class defender. He’s got loads of experience at the top level in England and in international games with Republic of Ireland.
He has got a lot of good attributes and I am sure Celtic will have seen them as well. What I would say is play safe. Take the risk out of your game. Get back to doing the basics well. If that means the ball has to go out of the park, then so be it.
If it means going up to the front men early, then that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Duffy can just go and do what he’s good at.
We’ve seen him doing it for a number of years with Ireland, but he’s asked to do a different role in that team as they play a different style to Celtic but that doesn’t mean he can’t play to his strengths at club level.
There is no let up for Duffy with Celtic facing a Europa League tie away to Lille on Thursday followed by a return clash against Aberdeen on Sunday in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.