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Celtic defender Shane Duffy hails his ‘special moment’ on dream debut

© Craig Foy / SNS GroupCeltic's Shane Duffy celebrates a debut goal
Celtic's Shane Duffy celebrates a debut goal

Shane Duffy last night said scoring for Celtic on his debut was still special despite the surreal setting.

The Republic of Ireland internationalist joined the Hoops on loan from Brighton last week and wasted no time making an impact, scoring the third in his new team’s 5-0 win away to Ross County.

“I haven’t checked my phone yet, half of Derry is probably texting me!” he said.

“Damien Duff (the Republic assistant manager and former Celtic coach) texted me today and said, ‘I know it’s not what you dreamed of, going to Dingwall in front of 300 fans playing for Celtic’.

“But it was still a special moment. This year has been crazy but it is something I’ll look back on with immense pride that I’ve got to play for this club.

“It was something I’ve always wanted to do and now I’ve done it.

“I’ll be proud when I look back tonight and reflect on the game, and my mum and dad will be proud.

“I’m happy it’s sort of over with now and I can just focus on the rest of the season.”

Duffy celebrates with Jullien

The 28-year-old agreed it was not a flawless display from Celtic, who had some jittery moments playing in a 3-5-2 formation.

Nevertheless, he was hugely encouraged by what he saw on the park.

“In the first half we were getting to know each other and it was a bit sloppy,” said the 28-year-old.

“I’ve only had three or four sessions with them, so that was only the second time we had played in a back three after doing it a bit yesterday.

“I’ve been very excited coming in. I didn’t know much about the lads,” he said.

“Obviously I watched them, but it’s completely different when you’re playing with them.

“You can see there are some great players there, it’s just about getting it to gel. It’s tough for the gaffer to only pick 11 players, I’m happy it’s him and not me.

“Everyone is in the same boat. Even the ones who are missing out are disappointed, but they are all backing you, they know how important it is this season.

“If it happens to me I’ll be the same. I think the competition pushes you and that’s what we need to go on and have a successful season.”

Duffy also had praise for manager Neil Lennon’s motivational ability.

“The gaffer got into us at half-time, fixed a few things and it was quite comfortable in the end,” he said.

“The second half was much better – it could have been seven or eight.”