SHANE DUFFY is back in business and likely to get the green light to take his place in the middle of the Celtic rearguard when the champions face Kilmarnock at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon.
The Republic of Ireland international captain has struggled since arriving at his boyhood heroes on a season-long loan from Brighton in the summer.
Memorably, Duffy scored on his debut in the 5-0 victory over Ross County in Dingwall in September and followed that up with the equaliser in the 2-1 win over St Mirren in Paisley four days later.
However, the centre-back failed to impress in the club’s dip in fortunes when the defence shipped an alarming amount of goals while goalkeepers Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain also looked unconvincing when they were called into action.
However, Duffy showed some of his expected form in the 3-2 Europa League Group H victory over Lille in Glasgow during the week and could get the nod for the crucial encounter with the Rugby Park outfit who took two points off Scotland’s title kings in a 1-1 draw in Ayrshire on August 9 on the second day of the Premiership campaign.
Reflecting on Duffy’s performance against the top-flight French side, Neil Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “That was more like him. The little break out of the team has done him the world of good and he’s come back reinvigorated.
“I thought he played well the other night. He did what he had to do.
“It’s been tough for him with the amount of criticism he’s had to take. He has probably been taken aback because he’s probably not used to it.
“It can work both ways when you’re a fan of the club – you can try too hard. I think that’s been the case for him.
“He’s worked really hard behind the scenes. I’ve told him to stop being so hard on himself.”
Duffy is likely to team up again with Christopher Jullien against Killie with Kristoffer Ajer and Diego Laxalt on the defensive flanks.
Jeremie Frimpong, who limped off in the first-half against Lille, should be okay for the visit of Alex Dyer’s team.