Duffy’s enjoying challenge of senior football
It has been a steep learning curve for St Johnstone defender Wallace Duffy.
But the former Celtic centre-back is loving life in senior football.
At the heart of the youngster’s decision to swap Celtic Park for McDiarmid Park in the summer was a desire to test himself in the cauldron of high stakes Premiership football.
That test has been a demanding one – trying to help his new team off the bottom of the league while his part of the pitch was being talked about as an area of weakness.
Now that he has played his part in securing Saints’ backto-back victories and a first clean-sheet of the campaign, there is hard evidence the 20-year-old
“This isn’t kids’ football where results don’t matter”
is getting to grips with the requirements of the job.
“The main thing for me coming here was to get experience of a firstteam dressing room and hopefully some games as well,” said Duffy.
“I wanted to push to play every game but I certainly wasn’t expecting it.
“I’ve had a few lucky breaks, with Richard Foster leaving and Liam Gordon’s injuries, which were obviously really unfortunate for him.
“That’s given me my chance.
“I’m enjoying things a lot more on the back of those two wins.
“I’m loving this environment – this isn’t kids’ football where results don’t matter. Results do matter. These are pressure situations.
“When I left Celtic I didn’t want to fall down the pecking order and drift down the lower leagues,” he said.
“I jumped at the chance to come here and luckily I’ve got my opportunity.”
Dundee United’s Paul Watson admits it would be a big deal to have won as the final whistle blows at Dens.
The Tangerines lead the Championship by three points from secondplaced Ayr United going into Friday’s derby against Dundee.
Parochial it may be but it is the gap between them and the Dark Blues that is grabbing the attention of most United fans.
Victory would put nine points of clear blue water between the city sides, while a win for James McPake’s team would cut it to three.
Watson obviously hopes it’s the former scenario as it would be a big advantage over the neighbours.
He said: “We are three points clear at the top of the league going into the derby.
“We are also six ahead of Dundee and have a great chance to open up a big gap.
“It’s a huge game when you look at what is at stake.
“We are also three ahead of Ayr at the moment and seven clear of Inverness.
“That shows you how big a game it could be. Nine points on Dundee would be a big gap for them to make up.”
The United players have answered their critics in style after away defeats to Alloa and Queen of the South were followed by wins over Dunfermline, Partick Thistle and Inverness Caley Thistle.
Watson, one of the Tangerines’ top performers in the 3-0 triumph in the Highlands on Saturday, is proud of the way United have dug in.
He said: “We did have
Keen: Dundee United defender Paul Watson