Alex McLeish has warned that strikers could look to take advantage of Shane Duffy’s lack of pace when he steps into the Celtic starting XI.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Scotland and Rangers manager believes the Brighton loanee will find the Premiership easier to cope with than the Premier League or international football but insists he has to be on his toes.
The 28-year-old struggled to keep up with the Finland attack as the Republic of Ireland slipped to a 1-0 Nations League defeat in Dublin.
The loss marked the end of a mixed international break for the new Celtic star, who managed to head home an injury-time equaliser in his country’s 1-1 draw with Bulgaria.
McLeish believes that Duffy has the ability and defensive nous to counter pacey attackers but believes he could still be targeted by the fastest forwards in the Premiership.
McLeish told Football Insider: “When you go to the levels of international football, you’re playing against some rockets.
“We played Belgium a couple of years ago when I was in the Scotland job and we lost the ball in midfield and Michy Batshuayi put the afterburners on and he just planted the ball in the back of the net. That’s the kind of level of speed.
“I’m sure the best of the Scottish strikers will try to make it difficult for the Celtic defence but I don’t think it’s going to affect him too much in Scotland as it would in the Premier League or at international level.
“I know Celtic always play high up the pitch but he’s a clever enough guy to cope.
“There might not be quite that level in Scotland but let’s face it, Duffy, if that’s his weakness then he’s got the mentality and the intelligence to get himself in the right positions before things happen.”