Frank McAvennie has ripped into Celtic defender Shane Duffy after Neil Lennon’s side beat St Johnstone 2-1 at McDiarmid Park.

The former Hoops and St Mirren striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 29-year-old’s defending is “pretty pathetic” at times and urged him to go back to basics.

Duffy was named in the starting eleven for Sunday’s win in the absence of the injured Stephen Welsh – his first start since the 2-1 loss at home to St Mirren last month.

The Republic of Ireland international, who has been heavily criticised for his performances this season, was replaced by Welsh for wins against Kilmarnock, Motherwell and St Mirren.

McAvennie heaped praise on Welsh and claimed the 21-year-old has brought out the best in Kristoffer Ajer.

“Welsh has been a revelation,” he told Football Insider.

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“He has brought Ajer’s game on as well. It is as if he is a bit more secure and confident with Welsh beside him. Maybe he can concentrate on his own game rather than worry about Duffy.

“What a difference it is when Duffy is on. He has so much experience but it is the basics that the big boy is not getting right. He is forgetting what made him a good play. He is forgetting to do the basics. It is pretty pathetic really.” 

Speaking on Duffy’s performance against St Johnstone, Neil Lennon said: “I thought he was pretty steady.

“There were no frills and that’s what we want from him, a good steady performance.”

In other news, James Forrest has been tipped to strike an awesome partnership with one Celtic teammate after a big update pre-Aberdeen.