Shane Duffy will have been “devastated” to have been snubbed from the Celtic starting XI against Rangers.
That is the view of former Gers defender Alan Hutton who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, believes Neil Lennon “doesn’t trust” the 29-year-old after his poor performances at Parkhead this season.
The Northern Irish boss, who was missing Christopher Jullien to injury, chose to start midfielder Nir Bitton as a makeshift centre-half ahead of the Brighton loanee.
However, the Israel international was shown a red card after hauling Alfredo Morelos down in the second half, with referee Bobby Madden having judged the Celtic man to have denied a goalscoring opportunity.
Duffy, who came on just after Bitton’s departure with 25 minutes left to play, was perhaps fortunate not to be dismissed as well after a lunging challenge on Ryan Kent.
Hutton believes Lennon choosing a makeshift option over a natural centre-back tells onlookers everything they need to know about the Republic of Ireland star’s standing at Parkhead.
Hutton told Football Insider: “Look, I just put it into how I would think about it – if I was a right-back on the bench and a midfielder was playing at right-back in one of the biggest games of the season, and I was fit, I’d be devastated.
“It pretty much tells you that your form’s not where it needs to be to be playing. I think that’s the problem. He has looked shaky and nervous recently and obviously, that’s because his form’s not been where it should be.
“Therefore he hasn’t played but it does tell you everything that you really need to know that it looks like Neil Lennon doesn’t trust him in the big games, it’s basically as simple as that.”
Duffy has played a total of 20 times across all competitions for Celtic this season but has started just once in the Hoops’ last eight league games.