By Alan Hutton

26th Dec, 2020 | 7:00pm

Pundit Exclusive: One Celtic player is giving his teammates the big fear

Alan Hutton believes Shane Duffy’s lack of confidence is spreading among his Celtic teammates at the heart of the defence.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers and Scotland full-back suggested the 28-year-old has failed to take control of situations in defence and that the likes of Christopher Jullien is also lacking in self-belief as a result.

Jullien and Duffy were caught out time and again by Hearts in Sunday’s cup final win and Neil Lennon moved Kristoffer Ajer from right-back to the middle in the second half.

Hutton has suggested the Republic of Ireland international is lacking in belief but that it is causing his teammates to put in sub-par performances as well.

Asked if he thought Duffy’s performances were making the likes of Jullien nervous, Hutton told Football Insider: “Possibly, I mean I think they had a couple of mix-ups between them, if I remember correctly, so I think that tells that the confidence is not there because if it was, you would take charge of the situation.

“Whether it be a header or a chest down or a pass, it seems like they were leaving it up to each other to try and figure out the problem. Confidence breeds confidence and if it’s not there, it’s very difficult.

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“I’ve been in situations where confidence is low and you do kind of lean on the partner beside you to help you out a bad situation so if they’re both struggling, you can actually see on the pitch.

“Obviously Ajer, who seems a bigger character, who’s playing decent at the moment, who comes in, he helps the people around them and maybe that’s what the likes of Shane Duffy need – a little bit of pressure taken off him, somebody who’s playing well in beside him to actually help him out the slump that he’s in.” 

Duffy has played a total of 19 times across all competitions for Celtic, with 16 starts under his belt.

In other news, Neil Lennon told to stick to his guns as senior star snubs £25,000-a-week contract offer.