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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Hamish Dufton @efchamishdufton

Defender Shane Duffy was just happy to play 90 minutes as he proved the party-pooper in Steven Hammell’s Motherwell testimonial on Saturday.

The towering Irishman netted in the 1-1 draw, heading the Blues ahead in the opening half.

While a goal was nice for Duffy, the defender insisted that another run out under his belt was far more important. “It was a good run out for most of the lads," he told evertontv. "You can see they are getting their fitness back now with the 90 minutes.
"I felt okay out there, it was my second game in a couple of days so the legs are heavy but that’s what pre-season is for – you want the games. I think most of the lads feel that way.

“It was our most competitive game I’d say and you can see Motherwell are a good team. They have a Champions League qualifier soon so it was a good test. I think we perhaps could have played a bit better but at this stage it’s all about the fitness.
“It was nice to score.” He added on his goal. “It’s not my job but if I can pop up and get one it’s good.  I guess I’m a threat – I’m big aren’t I? I was hoping for a clean sheet but unfortunately we didn’t get one.  “It was easy – Duffy was playing,” he joked after the game.

Shane and the boys faced a familiar face in the ‘Wells line-up as former Toffee James McFadden made an appearance for the side he has been training with recently. “No, it was great to be playing against Everton. Shane’s nearly spoilt the party because it was supposed to be a testimonial and a Motherwell win but he had other ideas.”

"Any time I got on the pitch was great for me - I was just delighted to be back.”

"Everyone was great and looked after me. It was good to go back knowing I wasn’t under any pressure. Obviously I put pressure on myself to do well when the manager brought me back, but I knew I would be looked after.

“Being at Everton helped me get my fitness back up because it’s an excellent set-up," he reflected.

The game brought back some fond memories for the Scot, who returned to Goodison Park as a free agent for a spell last campaign .

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