John Egan can't understand negativity about Shane Duffy's move to 'huge club' Celtic 

“I don't know where the negativity comes into things,” said Egan, 27, who will likely line up alongside Duffy in Bratislava
John Egan can't understand negativity about Shane Duffy's move to 'huge club' Celtic 

Shane Duffy celebrates scoring for Celtic in the Scottish Premiership. Republic of Ireland team-mate John Egan has backed his moved to the 10-in-a-row chasing Celts.

Gary Breen may not have been impressed by Shane Duffy's move to Celtic —  but John Egan sees nothing but good in the switch.

The Sheffield United centre half has been Duffy's partner at the heart of Ireland's defence for the last five competitive games, including Stephen Kenny's first two games in charge against Bulgaria and Finland.

Duffy's move north from Premier League side Brighton, where the Derry man was not guaranteed a starting spot, was seen as a positive by many, but not all, pundits, with the player admitting the switch was a dream come true.

But former Ireland World Cup defender Breen disagreed, arguing that the player could pick up 'bad habits' when playing against weaker opposition.

“I don't know where the negativity comes into things,” said Egan, 27, who will likely line up alongside Duffy in Bratislava.

“It's all about playing football, trying to win games of football and doing well yourself.

“Celtic is a huge club, especially for Irish players, it's probably the most supported club around, so I think it's great for him.” 

Duffy has scored two goals in three games for the Glasgow giants, and Egan hopes that positivity can roll over into the international scene.

“He's made an unbelievable start there, so his confidence is going to be sky-high. It's brilliant for him,” Egan said.

They're fighting for 10 (titles) in a row, and playing European football, so I hope he does really well.

“I'd always keep an eye on Celtic, and I know Shane a long time, since we played underage for Ireland.

“It's great to try and form a partnership with him, and the more games we play together the better it'll get.” 

The pair teamed up in Kenny's first two games, but like many others, Egan believes most of the players were lacking sharpness.

But many of Kenny's players have been in action in the Premier League since it kicked off two weekends ago, and with two more weekends to come before the Euro 2020 playoff against Slovakia in early October, Egan is hopeful the side will perform better than they did earlier this month.

“The two games were a week or two into people's pre-season, so it's hard to be fully fit for them,” he argued.

“But I'm sure now in two or three weeks we'll all be raring to go. We all know how important the Slovakia game is, so that's on our mind.

“To be fair, we had our moments in both games. In the first game, we had a couple of good chances to go one up, and in the second game we had a couple of good chances too.

“So, it's definitely been positive steps under the new manager. The way he wants to play, we'll certainly have a lot more of the ball, which is good, it's just about trying to improve now and have that killer instinct.” 

Jayson Molumby, Adam Idah and Aaron Connolly were among the younger generation given a boost by Kenny, and Egan admits he's excited by what may come under the former Dundalk, Derry and Bohemians boss.

“The manager's been really good, he really wants to do well for Ireland and I think that rubs off on the players,” he said.

“We've got a really good squad and there's some really good young lads coming through now, a good blend of youth and experience there.

We've three games next month, obviously, the Slovakia game is the big one, and that's the game we all want to win.

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