Monday, May 20, 2024

Duffy’s positive City fitness bulletin

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The Republic of Ireland international centre back has not featured since injuring his calf in the recent home win over play-off rivals Coventry City.

The experienced Duffy is not setting any timeline for his return, after making 28 league appearances since his summer signing.

“It’s tough. You can ask any footballer, it’s the worst period (being injured),” he said. “I’m in a great place here, the physios are top, and the lads have been great. Thankfully, it’s not a bad one, so I’ll be back soon.

“I’m in the middle of my rehab now. I’m just cracking on with it and hopefully I’ll be back in the next few weeks.

“We went through a difficult period in the mid-spell of the season, and we had a few injuries which was tough for the team, but we’ve started to be more consistent in how we’ve been playing, instead of changing week-to-week.

“We’ve stuck to our principles more, and you can see that with the results now, it’s paying off and hopefully we have a strong finish to the season.”

Duffy, the likes of Ashley Barnes and fellow centre back Danny Batth, were brought in to address a mentality issue identified last season by head coach David Wagner.

The 32-year-old sees his mentoring role as a key part of the job description.

“We’ve got a good group of experienced players which has helped through the tough times”, said Duffy, speaking in association with Sky Bet. “That’s down to a lot of the experienced players helping the younger players get through it as well. It’s a big thing – I always remember being a young player, looking up to the older players. You look after yourself, of course, but you also look up to them to see what they are doing.

“It’s a long season, you don’t get success overnight, and having an experienced group like we have helps and the younger lads keep us on our toes.”

Duffy had a brief loan spell at Celtic earlier in his career, and saw City and Republic team mate, Adam Idah, depart for the Bhoys in the January window.

“I spoke to him quite a lot about it because we’re from the same country and I played there,” he said. “I just told him to go and enjoy it. I put too much pressure on myself when I went there because it’s a club I supported and didn’t want to let anyone down.

“It probably ended up as the opposite, where I didn’t do as well as I should have done there, I let the pressure get to me, all my friends and family are Celtic fans.

“I said to him to go and enjoy it and be yourself, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, it’s one of the best football clubs in the world and he’ll realise how big it is when he’s there.

“He’s big, powerful, strong, and fast and he can score goals. If he believes in himself, which I’ve always told him to do, he will go and smash it in that league and hopefully get Celtic the title and the Scottish Cup.

“It’s down to himself, we all know the ability he has, and I’ve just said to him to use it, use the strengths and don’t worry about the weaknesses at the moment.”

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