Celtic hero Pierre van Hooijdonk has blasted back at Gary Breen for his 'bulls***' claims that Shane Duffy is harming his Ireland chances by playing in Scotland.

The Irishman made the disparaging comments about the Hoops loanee after he joined from Brighton in the Premier League. Breen claimed that Duffy would not come up against any quality strikers in the Scottish Premiership and could potentially pick up bad habits. But Van Hooijdonk was having none of it and snapped at the thought..

He also pointed to his own spell at Parkhead and the fact that he was still picked by Holland coach Guus Hiddink - and there were a few other famous faces in Scottish football who flourished domestically and for their national sides.

"That’s bulls***," he told the Daily Record. "Did Brian Laudrup or Henrik Larsson lose their place in the Danish or Swedish national team when they moved to Scotland? And those two players were playing for nations who were at a different level to the Irish team right now. “You don’t become a sh*t player simply by moving leagues.

“When I secured my place in the Dutch national team I was at Celtic and I asked the coach - Guus Hiddink - does it matter what league I am playing in? He said the only thing that mattered was that I was playing well.

“It was the same when I was moving to Nottingham Forest and there was a massive chance that we were getting relegated - would that influence my chances of being part of the Dutch squad for the 1998 World Cup?

"Hiddink said if I play and do my job then he will pick me. That’s how it turned out. I was the only player in that Dutch World Cup squad who never played at the highest level. The main thing is you do the business. Then you will get picked.

“I have seen Brazilian internationals moving to China and they are getting picked. Italian players going to the MLS and they are getting picked. Shane Duffy showed in the Premier League that he can play. I am happy to see a guy make the opposite move to what we are used to!

“You can actually look at it and say there will be a bigger focus on him because he will not be under pressure as often as he was at Brighton - but when he is then he will have to be there and do his job. He can’t afford to make mistakes. Especially in this season for Celtic.

"He is 28, he knows how to defend and is what I would call football mature."