I won title as Celtic coach and gave my players cold shoulder because it works when my WIFE does it to me

Shelbourne manager and ex Celtic coach Damien Duff revealed he stopped speaking to his players to get a reaction - because it works when his WIFE does it to him!

And he didn't hold back in his criticism of player Shane Farrell after he was sent off for receiving two yellow cards within ten minutes during a match against Shamrock Rovers. Despite the setback, Shels managed to maintain their three-point lead at the top of the League of Ireland Premier Division with a 0-0 draw. However, Duff felt that Farrell's dismissal made things unnecessarily difficult.

Reflecting on his words to his players after consecutive losses to Bohemians and Galway before Monday's match, Duff said: "A bit of tough love, harsh words earlier on in the week, later on in the week. I probably wasn't even speaking to them, they weren't speaking to me. It's probably what my wife does to me when I'm in trouble and she gets a better husband at the end of it so honestly that's all I've ever given them and like I said they bounced back but as I've just told them there, you shouldn't always wait for a Dublin derby to play on the edge and with a real intensity, it has to be every week."

And seaking to Virgin Media post-match, Republic of Ireland legend Duff - who worked under both Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon at Parkhead - said of the dismissal: "He deserved to go off, I don't think he played with intensity, I don't think he has played with intensity in a long, long time."

He went on to suggest that Farrell's off-pitch lifestyle had impacted his performance, saying: "How you live your life off the pitch ends up biting you back on the pitch, it was poor from him as he's cost his teammates, for 20-25 minutes we looked fit and strong, bring on Boydy [Sean Boyd], go two up top and we look like we might nick the win, it was all about salvaging a draw after that."

Despite the disappointment, Duff remained optimistic about the team's prospects, stating: "With 20 minutes to go when you go down to 10 men, you take the point, we back ourselves to beat anyone in this country, home or away, after three weeks of poor enough performances I think it's safe to say we have our team back and we are looking forward to Friday.

"People have been looking at the last three weeks and going, ooh, Jesus. It's a top of the table clash against the best team in the country that the league has seen for a long, long time, there hasn't been a top of the table clash at Tolka Park in 18 years, so it was amazing from the guys but they have to bring it on Friday."