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24th Aug 2016

Shane Duffy *finally* scores at the right end after nightmare own goal run

Crucial matchwinner

Patrick McCarry

“We had to stand up and be counted.”

That is what Owen Coyle required as the bare minimum from his Blackburn Rovers players after they went 2-0 down in their League Cup tie with Crewe.

For Shane Duffy, a man who scored two own goals and was sent off in his last start, it would have been easy to slink away, lower his voice and prepare the excuses. His goal in Rovers’ first round win was a rare high point of a season that has already included three ogs.

Shirking a challenge though? Duffy is not that sort of player. He’s not that sort of man.

The Irish defender is far from perfect – he has never claimed to be – but he has found it tough to transition from the highs of Euro 2016 to life back in the Championship. His head has been turned, too, by offers from at least three other clubs. Focus has not been dialled in at 100%.

Duffy was recalled to the Blackburn team for last night’s cup game and was part of a defence that conceded three goals – two were defensive errors [not his] and the other was an unstoppable thunderbolt.

Rovers eventually got a grip and went 3-2 up only to concede a third goal that took the tie to extra time. Duffy was a menace from set-pieces all night and popped up with the winner on 97 minutes – putting his head where it hurts.