NEIL LENNON has backed Shane Duffy to brush off the ‘incredible vitriol’ he has been subjected to over his recent performances for Celtic and bounce back to show his worth to the club.

The on-loan Brighton defender has been criticised for defensive lapses in the defeats to Rangers and AC Milan, as well as the 3-3 draw with Aberdeen on Sunday where he allowed Scott Wright to rob him of possession to tee up the Dons’ second goal.

Lennon feels though that the flak the Irish international has been subjected to has been way over the top, and he says that he is sure Duffy has the strength of character to overcome this run of poor form after a heart-to-heart between the pair.

“He is a big strong boy,” Lennon said. “I had a chat with him the other night.

“He is feeling it obviously, but he knows he’ll come through it. We just need to show him a bit of patience.

“He made a mistake at the weekend. The vitriol that comes after it is incredible, absolutely incredible.

“Again, it is my job to support him and that is exactly what I will do and I will support the other players as well.

“It isn’t the first time the players have been thrown out into the lion’s den as it were in terms of insults and criticism. But no one more so than myself.

“I know exactly what he is going through. He has got the character and personality to bounce back straight away.”

Meanwhile, Lennon says that Celtic captain Scott Brown is also ready to show his best form after having his game-time managed over the last few weeks, and he looks likely to start against Lille in France tonight.

“I think this game is well suited to Scott,” he said. “He made a really positive contribution on Sunday at Aberdeen when he came on and he’s fresher.

“The rest did him the world of good and, obviously, he’ll come into contention to start.”