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KENNY BACKS DUFFY SWITCH

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SHANE DUFFY will benefit from his loan move to Celtic, insists Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny.

Former Coventry City defender Gary Breen sparked controversy when he claimed the 28-year-old centre-back’s season-long switch from Brighton would harm his international prospects.

The loudmouth and ill-informed media pundit stated lifelong Hoops fan Duffy would suffer because of the low standard of Scottish football and he would “pick up bad habits” because he wouldn’t be tested.

Breen, speaking to Off The Ball in Ireland, also said the nation’s boss would be concerned about Duffy’s move to the nine-in-a-row champions.

However, Kenny, who managed in Scotland with Dunfermline, told the Scottish Sun: “Shane needs to play regularly. One thing about Shane going to Celtic is he’ll get a lot of matches playing in the Premiership and, hopefully, in the Europa League. Different challenges.

“I know the question was asked if the move is a good move for him, going to Celtic and not playing against Premier League-calibre players every week.

“He could have played for his team in the Premier League who defend with a low block – we know he can do that all day – and defend the edge of his box. But the reason I see the move to Celtic as advantageous is they’ll defend with a higher line and that is what we need practice in.

“They’ll have loads of possession and there’s practice in that, as he’s a good passer of the ball.

“These are things that I think can benefit his play.”

Raging Parkhead gaffer Neil Lennon branded Breen’s remarks “embarrassing” and former Hoops striker Chris Sutton described them as “idiotic”.

Duffy, who has been named in the international squad for the forthcoming matches against Slovakia, Wales and Finland, is poised to play his sixth game for the Hoops tomorrow night when the Scots take on Sarajevo in Bosnia in the Europa League play-off.

He has already scored two goals in his previous performances and has admitted he is determined to play his part in the club’s bid for a historic tenth successive title.

 
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