Alan Hutton has applauded Neil Lennon for making the “massive decision” to drop Shane Duffy from the Celtic starting XI against Motherwell.

The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has suggested the 28-year-old needed taking out of the firing line after a series of poor performances at the back.

The Brighton loanee, who had started every single game prior to Sunday’s clash, was replaced by Kristoffer Ajer for the 4-1 win at Fir Park, although he did come on for the final 12 minutes.

Hutton has suggested Lennon did the right thing in pulling Duffy out the spotlight after he was criticised for his disappointing run of form for the Bhoys.

Hutton told Football Insider: “Of course it’s a massive decision. I think if we take it as a whole has come up a big player, playing in the Premier League, he’s an international player.

“I’m not going to stand here and say that he’s taken it for granted or taken it lightly, that’s not what I mean, but the Scottish League is harder than what people think. You come up against difficult opposition, especially away from home when you’re on the back foot and he’s found that out.

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“Celtic are obviously possession-based and he’s pushing up high, getting caught in behind and making silly mistakes so I think Neil Lennon was right, just take him out the firing line. You know what the media’s like, social media is gathering pace about him so I think it was the right decision, just take him out.

“We saw him come on – again, another good decision from Lennon. They’re up, they’re winning the game, bring him back on, get him back involved when the confidence is high. I think that shows good management.”

Duffy has made a total of 13 appearances and scored two goals for Celtic across all competitions this season.

In other Celtic news, Scott Brown has been tipped to be spearheading crisis talks at Parkhead.