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‘KEEP CRACKING ON’: DUFFY’S DEFIANT MESSAGE

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DEFIANT Shane Duffy insists he will get through his torrid sequence that continued at Wembley last night as he captained the Republic of Ireland in their 3-0 defeat against England.

The Celtic central defender, who arrived in the summer on a season-long loan deal from Brighton, has come under fire in recent weeks and was left out of Neil Lennon’s starting line-up for the 4-1 victory over Motherwell at the weekend.

Duffy came on 12 minutes from the end for groin-strain victim Kristoffer Ajer as the champions won only their second game in seven outings.

The 28-year-old lifelong Hoops fan led out his nation against Gareth Southgate’s outfit, but the Irish were overwhelmed by goals from Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Dominic Calvin-Lewin for their heaviest defeat from their opponents since a 5-1 loss in 1957.

Duffy, though, is convinced he can turn things around for club and country and thanked managers Neil Lennon and Stephen Kenny for continuing to back his ability.

The towering centre-back, speaking to RTE, said: “It’s a difficult time, but I’m not the first footballer to go through it and I won’t be the last.

“I’m mentally strong and I can deal with this kind of stuff. It’s just a tough time where performances sometimes don’t go where you want them.

“I’m positive. I’ve got managers who believe in me and I believe in myself. I’ve got good family and friends around me who push me, and good pros who have been there and done it.

“That’s what I’ve got to do – keep cracking on. I know it just doesn’t change overnight. So, I’ll keep trying, keep learning.

“It’ll take a lot more than what they’re doing at the minute to keep me down.”

Duffy is hoping to get the nod to play against Hibs at Easter Road a week tomorrow as the champions resume after the international break.

 
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