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Duffy: Kenny backed move to Celtic

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Celtic’s Shane Duffy in action against St Mirren

Celtic’s Shane Duffy in action against St Mirren

PA

Celtic’s Shane Duffy in action against St Mirren

Shane Duffy revealed his Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was right behind his decision to join Celtic.

Former Ireland defender Gary Breen had controversially claimed Duffy's one-year loan move from Brighton to his boyhood heroes could affect the Irish side as he might pick up a few bad habits due to the lower level of striker he would face in Scottish football.

Duffy, whose goal in the 2-1 win over St Mirren in Paisley on Wednesday night was his second in as many games for the Hoops, spoke to Kenny, who managed Dunfermline between 2006 and 2007, on international duty and got positive feedback.

He said: "I did speak to him. When I did sign I was with Ireland so we had a chat and he was delighted that I made the move here and he knows it can help me get better.

"Obviously Celtic play a lot with the ball and a lot higher up the pitch, which is something that I wasn't doing at Brighton so he thinks it can improve my game in that way and just the mentality of winning every single week and if I can bring that to the Ireland squad, he was all for it, of course.

"He knows Scotland, he knows what it's about.

"I'm just going to keep my head down, keep working hard and trying to improve so if my form is good at Celtic that can take care of Ireland which everyone knows is a big thing for me as well."

On Breen's comments, which were widely criticised from Celtic manager Neil Lennon to former Parkhead striker Chris Sutton, Duffy was playing it low key.

He said: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion, that's his and you have to respect him as well. But I don't believe what he says is right.

"It is a huge club up here and it is a massive honour to be at this club so I just let my football do the talking.

"Gary has always been very complimentary about me and he does say good things as well so, as I say, it was his opinion of my move and he is entitled to it.

"For me, I am delighted and I think it is the right move. It is only going to make me better playing for a club like this with the pressure around it of winning every single game and performing well."