We’ll go there with no fear – Duffy relishing Everton return

Shane Duffy heads a Arsenal cross clear during Sundays game. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Shane Duffy heads a Arsenal cross clear during Sundays game. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Shane Duffy is relishing his first return to Everton since he left Goodison Park and says Albion go there with no fear on Saturday.

Irish defender Duffy joined the Toffees as a first year scholar in 2008 and played five matches, before he joined Blackburn in 2014 – and then signed for Albion in August, 2016.

Duffy, who with 244 has made the most clearances in the Premier League this season, has fond memories of his time with Everton but left owing to a lack of game time and said: “I’m looking forward to it.

“Obviously I owe a lot to the club, they gave me the chance to start my professional career. I’m a bit gutted it didn’t work out there but it’s my first time going back and hopefully I’ll enjoy it.

“They gave me the pathway to try to have a career, taught me everything I know from when I was a kid, looked after me and basically I became a man.

“When it was time to leave because I wasn’t playing, it was unfortunate but it’s a great club and I have a lot of friends there.”

The teams drew 1-1 earlier in the season when a last minute Wayne Rooney penalty earned Everton a draw.

Duffy knows the threat Everton possess and said: “They’re a dangerous team and if you get them on a bad day, they can hurt you. We know they’re strong at home but we’re full of confidence.

“We haven’t lost in a while and have no fear.

“We’re still realistic in this league. Going away to Everton is always a tough game. But I’m looking forward to it and we have no fear of any team.

“We’ll just go and play our game, do what we’ve been doing recently and hopefully we can get a positive result.”

Albion sit in the top half of the table after Sunday’s 2-1 victory against Arsenal and are now seven points clear of the relegation zone, with nine games to go.

Duffy said: “Everyone knows how tight it is in the bottom half.

“It’s nice not to be on the second page for once but we know there’s still a long way to go, nine huge games but we’ve got momentum with us and it’s a big game at Everton.

“A win there will push us away from them as well.”

Reflecting on Albion’s win against Arsenal, their first against a top-six side this season, Duffy said: “I’m so happy we didn’t go through the whole season without beating anyone. It’s a great feeling knowing you can beat them.

“Our home record has been unbelievable for three years. We’ve only lost to the three best teams in the league, so it’s great to beat a team like Arsenal.

“The lads are happy, the manager’s happy and so are the fans.”