Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Martin O’Neill has admitted that Shane Duffy ‘hasn’t started all that brilliantly’ since joining Celtic this past summer.

The Republic of Ireland international signed for his boyhood club on a £2 million season-long loan agreement from Brighton & Hove Albion.

But despite scoring a couple of goals early on, things have taken a nightmare turn for the big Celtic centre-back.

The 28-year-old struggled in the Old Firm defeat by Rangers 12 days ago, and also failed to cover himself in glory during the 3-3 draw with Aberdeen last weekend.

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Celtic icon O’Neill used to manage the big Derry native with the Boys in Green – and the 68-year-old has worryingly claimed that the defender’s head used to stay down longer than anybody else’s after mistakes.

He told BBC Sportsound: “There were games we won where he didn’t play at all that brilliantly and he had his head down for longer than anyone else.

“We would say ‘Hold on, we’ve won the game we can get over that’ so it’s better to have made your mistakes when you’ve won.

“He’s come up and hasn’t started all that brilliantly and is under a bit of pressure, and of course the manager is under pressure because he’s brought him up but he’s not going to make the whole team.”

This is a bit concerning for Celtic boss Neil Lennon, if O’Neill’s comments are accurate.

Lennon needs a leader who can roll with the punches, not get floored by them, and it doesn’t bode well if Duffy did allow the disappointment of an individual error to consume him.

There’s too much at stake for Celtic – who are going for 10 Premiership titles in a row – this season and their biggest and best players need to draw lines under low points, not obsess over them.

Republic of Ireland’s Shane Duffy (Reuters)

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