NEIL LENNON admits the criticism that has come the way of Shane Duffy has been “absolutely incredible”.

The Celtic boss acknowledged the Republic of Ireland centre-back made a mistake that cost the side a goal in the 3-3 draw against Aberdeen on Sunday.

But he is in no doubt Duffy, who agreed a season-long loan deal from Brighton in the summer, will answer the sniping big-mouth brigade.

Lennon held talks with the 28-year-old defender to help the player get through the minefield that comes with playing for his lifelong idols where the pressure is intense in every game.

Duffy is likely to be in his usual position in the heart of the rearguard alongside Kristoffer Ajer in tonight’s Europa League Group H encounter against Lille in France where the action will kick off at 5.55pm.

Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “He is a big strong boy. I had a chat with him the other night. He is feeling it, obviously, but he knows he’ll come through it.

“We just need to show him a bit of patience. He made a mistake at the weekend. The vitriol that comes after it is incredible, absolutely incredible.

“It is my job to support him and that is exactly what I will do and I will support the other players, as well.”

Lennon can empathise with Duffy and added: “It isn’t the first time the players have been thrown out into the lion’s den as it were in terms of insults and criticism.

“But no-one more so than myself. I know exactly what he is going through. He has got the character and personality to bounce back straight away.

“Shane needs to find his feet. He has had a bumpy week, nothing more, nothing less. It happens.

“He is a quality player. He has my full support, he has the team’s full support.”

*DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Lille v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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