Shane Duffy was furious when the Irish press spoke to him the other night.
It was a controlled fury, but you could see it bubbling away under the surface.
He never shirks this guy, neither on the pitch nor off of it. He steps up when others step back.
The man sets high standards. That’s what captains do.
But this is the second time I’ve watched him talking after a Republic of Ireland match and been well impressed by the way he takes responsibility when things go wrong, but also gives an honest appraisal of the failings of the team overall. I can only wonder what kind of force he will be at Celtic.
But I’ll tell you this; just watching him, you would not want to be a failure in his dressing room. He may not wear the captain’s armband, but the more leaders you have in a squad the better and he is one of those players who will insist that others rise to meet his standards.
We are blessed by the fact that this team already has a number of leaders in it, of course, and when it comes to getting motivated for the big occasion they need not pep talks; this team performs and produces when the chips are down.
Still, ask any manager of the modern era and they will tell you that you can never have enough guys like this in a squad.
Duffy will simply not tolerate failure, and will get that across to anyone in the team who he doesn’t feel are pulling their weight, but in a way that will not undercut either the current dressing room leaders or the manager.
Going into a massive match at the weekend he is bigger asset than ever.
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