Sunday 26 January 2020

Duffy eager to learn lessons from 'great' experience at the Euros

Republic of Ireland's Shane Duffy Picture: PA
Republic of Ireland's Shane Duffy Picture: PA
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

The manner in which Shane Duffy's Euros ended could have scarred him for a long time but he believes that he is all the better for it, having come out the other side.

A summer move to Brighton provided him with a much-needed fresh start as he managed to leave Blackburn's sinking ship.

Having finished the Euros as one of Martin O'Neill's first-choice centre-backs, the suspension that he carried over (for the Serbia game) from the red card he received for his foul on Antoine Griezmann meant that he is starting the qualifying campaign on the back foot.

Three own goals in two games as well as another dismissal for Blackburn compounded what was a difficult few months for the Derry native but he arrived in Dublin earlier this week with a renewed confidence.

"The summer was a great experience for me, the way it ended wasn't ideal for me as well but I loved it," he said.

"It was the best part of my career, and hopefully I will be stronger for it and I will have learned from it, can put it behind me and can push on from it.


"It was great to be involved as I didn't think I would go, to be honest. So to play a part was massive, just to be there.

"I think I am a better player now, more mature, I had a lot of lows there in that year, I have learned from them.

"I am happy with the way I am going, it's slow and steady and I have to try and not make as many mistakes, which any player can make, but I am improving and I want to get better."

Duffy appeared to have little option other than to bring down Griezmann but he insists that he was making a genuine attempt to play the ball. He has yet to watch the game back, although it is on his laptop for a rainy day.

"I honestly thought I was going to win the ball," he maintained.

"I knew I was coming from behind and had to be careful but I wasn't and I was more disappointed with my movement that left me in the position before I had to make the tackle. There was a lot of different things I could have done to stop it.

"I'm an honest player. If I played well, fine, if I made a mistake and know I can play better, I'll be the first to hold my hands up."

Chris Hughton has helped restore Duffy's confidence but he knows that it is up to him now to win back his Ireland place.

"I just have to try and focus on my club football," the 24-year-old added. "If I'm playing well enough hopefully I'll get selected in squads and then if I get my chance here then I need to take it and try and stay in the team."

Irish Independent

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