Shane Duffy is confident that Ireland under-21s can complete Italian job

Everton defender believes that the Young Boys in Green can defeat Italy at the Sligo Showgrounds in crucial Uefa qualifier
Everton centre back Shane Duffy believes that the Republic of Ireland under-21 team have what it takes to defeat a strong Italy outfit in their upcoming Uefa Under-21 qualifying game at the Sligo Showgrounds on June 4.

Speaking to The Irish Sun, Duffy said that the team were eager to put the 2-1 defeat by Denmark at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin on May 28 behind them.

"They were sloppy goals to give away, but I think we defended well as a team, we were hard to break down," said the 20-year-old.

"Denmark was a run out for a couple of lads and it was good to get a run out for me too. You could see that people were rusty. We've had four weeks off and I haven't played a match in six weeks so it was good to get back in there."

Despite the result, the 6'4 centre back was keen to turn the focus on to the crucial qualifier at home to Italy.
"But it's all about next week," he admitted. "We've got all week to work on it and hopefully we can be a bit sharper."

"We're going in to win it. We've all week, we're going to try to work on ways to beat them to stay in contention for the finals."

Duffy was included in Giovanni Trapattoni's senior Ireland squad for the game against Czech Republic in February, when he was called up as a replacement for Richard Dunne. When asked about whether he thought he merited a place in the squad, Duffy stated that he was not expecting to be included for Euro 2012.

"I think I'm far away from the seniors at the minute, but I've just got to keep improving," he said.

"My last Premier League game was in February and I've played a few reserve games since, that's it."

"I don't think I deserve to go. A few of the other lads have been there for the whole two years of the campaign and haven't gone. Hopefully I'm in for the World Cup qualification campaign at some stage.

"It's good to represent your country. I'm hoping I'll be going to Israel with the U21s next year. It would be nice to play for the seniors and the U21s at a finals." he concluded.