DAMIEN DUFF has all the qualities to handle the pressure that comes with being thrown in at the deep end at Celtic.

The Republic of Ireland legend received rapid promotion at the champions following the sharp exit of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester City in February.

Duff had been working with the reserves for only six weeks when he was swiftly installed as No.3 in the managerial reshuffle with Neil Lennon returning to the hot seat and John Kennedy stepping up as his assistant.

Former Liverpool defender Jason McAteer, who played alongside the winger for six years with the national side, insisted helping the Hoops to success will mean everything to the boyhood Celtic fan.

Duff, 40, was a two-time Premier League winger with Chelsea and also played for Blackburn Rovers and Fulham in a glittering career.

McAteer, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “We’ve handled pressure like that all our careers. We’ve played in World Cups together, played in big games.

“You want that pressure if you work in football. You need pressure to drive you on. If Duffer didn’t feel the pressure it would be a bad thing. But he’s at a massive football club, he’s under a good manager in Lenny and he’ll learn a lot from him.

“The other thing I felt, when I was coaching with John Barnes at Tranmere Rovers, is there is only so much you can do. Once the 11 players went over the line there wasn’t too much you could do.

“You could kick every ball for them but sometimes they were kicking it in the wrong direction.

“Often the majority of them were doing that.

“It can be hard work and you go grey very quickly. But I’m sure Duffer will be okay.”

“A win feels a lot more special, you feel what the fans feel because you’ve stood on the terraces and know what it means.

“So Damien will feel that with Celtic. When you are a fan of a club it always helps.”


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