Shane Duffy has opened up on the form slump that has put his place in the Celtic side in doubt.
At the start of September the defender joined Celtic on a season long loan that was regarded as a critical signing to add steal and leadership to the hoops defence.
After almost nine months without much football Duffy found himself badly exposed as he joined a team that was geared towards attacking after two seasons of backs to the wall football at Brighton where the emphasis was firmly on defending.
Duffy has played in a back three and back four with Celtic with six different players but despite the circumstances has come up short of his own expectations as he told RTE after Ireland lost 3-0 to England at Wembley:
It’s a difficult time, but I’m not the first footballer to go through it and I won’t be the last. I’m mentally strong and I can deal with this kind of stuff. It’s just a tough time where performances sometimes don’t go where you want.
I’m positive. I’ve got managers who believe in me, and I believe in myself. I’ve got good family and friends around me who push me, and good pros who have been there and done it.
That’s what I’ve got to do – keep cracking on. I know it just doesn’t change overnight. So I’ll keep trying, keep learning. It’ll take a lot more than what they’re doing at the minute to keep me down.
On Sunday Ireland travel to Wales for a Nations League tie before completing their campaign at home to Bulgaria on Wednesday.