Alex McLeish admits that Shane Duffy has failed to live up to expectations after his bright start to life at Celtic.
The former Rangers and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists that the 28-year-old has looked “off the pace” and puts it down to the disruption caused by Covid-19.
Duffy scored two goals in his opening two games but has come under fire for his performances against Rangers, AC Milan and Aberdeen over the last fortnight.
McLeish admits the centre-back does not look as sharp as he needs to be for Neil Lennon’s men and suggests he will have to work hard on the training ground to rediscover his form.
McLeish told Football Insider: “Shane’s only 28, I don’t for one minute believe he’s lost his legs – I know Brighton, in his time, they sat back, they soaked up pressure and tried to counter teams.
“I really think, therefore, he’s really just a wee bit off the pace because he’s got to find his real sharpness. Let’s face it, over this past year with Covid and the seasons finishing and then having to do a pre-season, some of them are just not quite up to speed.
“I’m not saying Shane’s lapsed on his training, it’s just circumstances. He’ll probably be working on his sharpness and I would think that is all it takes. He hasn’t looked the player everyone expects but I feel it’s a question of sharpness.”
Duffy has played every minute of his 10 games for the Glasgow giants so far.
He has had the likes of Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien to battle with for a place at centre-back.
In other Celtic news, Football Insider have dropped a £22.5million reveal ahead of January.