Exclusive: McLeish drops Duffy verdict & why it's gone badly wrong for him at Celtic
Alex McLeish has admitted Shane Duffy is not a good fit for the way Celtic want to play football under Neil Lennon.
The former Rangers and Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, believes the 29-year-old has struggled to adapt to the Bhoys’ possession-based style since joining on loan from Brighton last summer.
As detailed by football stats website Whoscored, Duffy attempted the second-most passes for in Celtic’s 0-0 draw against Livingston (63) but had had a successful pass rate of just 59 per cent – the third-worst rank among the Bhoys.
While the Republic of Ireland international’s long-balls forward contributed to his poor record – with just two successful long passes from an attempted 12 – his short passing left plenty to be desired as well.
McLeish believes Duffy has grown used to playing on the back foot at the likes of Brighton and that his poor form at Celtic comes from his lack of experience playing for a progressive team like the Hoops.
Asked if Duffy had struggle to adapt to Celtic’s style of possession-based play, McLeish told Football Insider: “I think that has been a factor, definitely, because analysing, from my own point of view, his Brighton career, he was defending a lot and he was a real stalwart defender, that was a lot of his game.
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“When you’re going to Celtic, you’re going to be in a team that has a lot of the ball and you have to use the ball so it is a little bit of a different type of football for Shane to adapt to but he’s no mug, he can pass the ball.
“He would expect teams to be on top of him all the time and defending a lot more than he is doing in the games, instead of attacking and then finding himself maybe a little bit vulnerable at the halfway line when a ball over the top could harm you.”
Duffy, who kicked off his Celtic career with two goals in his first two appearances, has started 18 times in 22 games for the Bhoys this season.