No, it’s not because he’s cup-tied, or Everton don’t want him cup-tied. It’s because he’s on international duty with the Republic of Ireland of all bloody things.
And whilst Duffy will miss the Iron’s trek down to the League Two club – both Oliver Norwood and Nicky Ajose will be able to feature, after permission was received from both players’ parents clubs.
And with all things having gone suspiciously quiet on the Sam Johnstone front, with more news have been promised soon for what feels like an eternity, expect to see him quietly shuffle back to Manchester.
Any Old Iron of course hope we’re bloody wrong.
But a replacement will have to be found for Duffy’s absence – but since the Iron were able to name 4 defenders on their bench against Bournemouth: surely we shouldn’t be short of options.
This of course leaves open the possibility of Cliff Byrne making his first playing return back from his prolonged spell out injured with nerve complications throughout his back.
Duffy is missing for he will be with the Republic of Ireland U/21 squad, who rather inconveniently – have a match on Monday night.
A particularly daft time to play a game anyway, but Iron gaffer Knill did admit that that playing for your country had to come first.
As such, the on-loan Everton centre-half has been told to report for the squad at 10:00AM on Saturday morning, preventing him from travelling down: let alone playing in, the game against AFC Wimbledon in the 1st Round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.
This was despite Scunthorpe United making special representation to the FAI asking if Duffy could join up with their U/21 squad after the key clash at the Cherry Red Records Stadium – but the Dublin bureaucrats and apparatchiks were unwilling to budge.
But thankfully, both Manchester United and Peterborough United: managed by the respective generations of the Ferguson family, have allowed their players to feature for the Iron. Thus, it is hoped that Scunny won’t be too weakened by the events.
That said – it wasn’t being overly weakened that have been the Iron’s problems at points throughout this season – it’s just been disappointing performances all round. This is what Alan Knill needs to rectify from the players – and bloody fast.
The Iron fans are a patient bunch, but it’s going to pretty quickly get to the point where we’re sick and tired of being in the bottom third of the league post-relegation. And that needs to be rectified with wins. Frankly, one in the FA Cup would be nice….
Up the Iron!