Shane Duffy planning Zoom calls with John Egan to iron out defensive issues

Shane Duffy plans to use Zoom to communicate with defensive teammates about how they need to improve as a unit.

One of the main talking points after Sunday’s Uefa Nations League defeat to Finland was how little time new manager Stephen Kenny had to work with his players and Shane Duffy hopes to have extensive conversations with the likes of John Egan when the pair return to their respective clubs.

Duffy, who captained Ireland in the last two fixtures, is Glasgow-bound after agreeing a one-year loan deal with Celtic and Egan will return to Sheffield United after a week on international duty.

And with a Euro 2020 play-off qualifier against Slovakia coming up next month, Duffy is eager to use Zoom to discuss any issues that the defenders have identified as they come to terms with Kenny’s new system.

“I don’t know what the manager decides,” Duffy said.

“We’d like to all stay in touch. I know Keith [Andrews] touched on it there, that hopefully me and John [Egan] and him can have some Zoom calls, and see what we need to do better.

“What we’re comfortable with, and what we can do for the big game against Slovakia. We need to get it right for that.”

Some have suggested that Duffy might struggle to adapt to Kenny’s philosophy and former Ireland boss Brian Kerr noted some nervousness in the Irish defender in last week’s 1-1 draw with Bulgaria.

Duffy has admitted that centre-halves could find themselves a bit more exposed under Kenny’s favoured style of play as full-backs tend to play further up the pitch but the Derryman is confident that he and his defensive partner will be able to deal with it.

“I just go out there and try to play my game,” Duffy continued. “Of course it’s a little bit different because our full-backs are going to be a lot higher.

“We were 2 v 2 a lot tonight against their two strikers, so you’ve got to get used to it. But I’m used to it.

“I know people will want to say what they want to say about me, but I can defend in 1 v 1 situations. I’ve done it in the Premier League and at international level.

“I back myself and I don’t see many players really getting the better of me. It’s your position as a centre-half, you’ve got to deal with quick players.

“You’ve got to deal with big spaces. You’ve got to deal with being on the ball, and hopefully I’m trying to get better at that.”

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