Pat Bonner has seen enough of Shane Duffy to be convinced the centre-half will eventually knock it out the park for Celtic.

And the Hoops legend says that’s exactly how the defender needs to do it – by replicating his Republic of Ireland form at Hoops.

Duffy has taken flak from all angles after a nightmare week with Celts, shipping eight goals in the defeats to Rangers and AC Milan followed by Sunday’s 3-3 draw at Aberdeen.

Ex-Celt Kris Commons even said it was a slight on Efe Ambrose after comparisons with the Nigerian who had nerves jangling in his time with the club.

Duffy was in the firing line after gifting the Dons at least one of their goals.

He got caught trying to be cute with a clearance and Scott Wright nicked in to tee up Ryan Hedges to make him pay. Bonner admitted Duffy hasn’t quite settled at Celts but says there’s no point in an old-
fashioned no-nonsense defender trying to get too clever.

He’d love to see the Derry man sticking to what he does best – even if that means occasionally launching the ball into Row Z.

The Parkhead hero said: “Shane has proved himself as a top-
class defender.

“He has got a lot of good attributes and I am sure Celtic will have seen them as well.

“What I would say is play safe. Take the risk out of your game.

“Get back to doing the basics well. If that means the ball has to go out of the park, then so be it.

“If it means going up to the front men early, then that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Duffy can just go and do what he’s good at.

“We’ve seen him doing it for a number of years with Ireland, but he’s asked to do a different role in that team as they play a different style to Celtic.

“But that doesn’t mean he can’t play to his strengths at club level.”

Bonner reckons there’s more to come from Hoops diehard Duffy and he has no doubt the former Brighton stopper will come good.

But he believes the Irish ace might be taking too much on his shoulders – and almost trying too hard at times.

Duffy hasn’t been helped with the chopping and changing of line-ups and formations at the back while also trying to take on a leading role on the pitch.

Bonner added: “It has been difficult for him, but it’s always tough for a centre-half coming into a new club. When you arrive at a new club you don’t want to be walking into the place and being the big man right away.

“You want to find your feet, learn about your team-mates and grow into that role.

“But it’s almost as if he’s been expected to have this leadership role right from the minute he came in the door.

“It’s probably his own choice as he’s that kind of player.

“It is a lot to take on your shoulders though when you are trying to adapt to playing for a new team.

“There’s no doubt he’s made some mistakes and he’ll be the first to admit it. It could be that he’s trying too hard to impress.

“There is always immense pressure when you play with a club like Celtic.

“That’s another reason he should simplify his game and stick to doing what he does best. He’s going through a difficult spell right now but, the type of character he is, I’m sure he’ll come through it and Celtic supporters will see the best of him.”

Bonner felt Celts had enough attacking intent on Sunday to be positive going to Lille in the Europa League on Thursday.

But he says there does need to be a tightening up in defence – with a permanent return to a back four.

He said: “The game on Sunday could have gone either way. There was a period when their heads went down.

“The defending was poor, they were all over the place. They returned to a back four but were still exposed. It’s about trying to find solutions but I don’t think they can go back to a three as the four helps them to get their players up the pitch.

“Duffy and Kris Ajer need to work hard at being a partnership.

“I thought they passed the ball well at times and scored two wonderful goals. You could see the difference when Leigh Griffiths came on.

“But Celtic didn’t get enough runners into the box and need to have a little more running off the ball.

“It was a good enough performance apart from the defending side of things. It was two points dropped from a winning position and they are under a bit of pressure.

“It’s now a question whether they can handle it.”