Darron Gibson has backed Everton team-mate and fellow Derry man, Shane Duffy to make a significant impact at the Goodison Park club next season.
The midfielder was guest of honour at the official launch of the 2013 Foyle Cup at the Tower Hotel last Thursday and he insisted that his good friend, Shane will benefit from the club’s imminent change of manager.
Duffy has been restricted to a handful of first team appearances for the club but Gibson believes the Galliagh man will view David Moyes’ departure as a chance for a fresh start.
“Shane is developing well,” said Gibson. “I think he’s been unlucky this season.
“He came in at the end of last year and played five games and got ‘man of the match’ in three of those.
“He’s hardly played for the first team since and I think he’s been very unlucky. Hopefully it’s a new slate for him now with a new manager coming in and hopefully he can push on and be in the team permanently.”
Gibson, who returned to the city to offer his support to the Foyle Cup - a tournament which was directly responsible for his dream move to Manchester United - was delighted to ‘give something back to the city’.
“It’s a great tournament and a great opportunity for the young lads to develop as footballers.
“It’s a great stage to show what they can do and obviously there will be clubs from England and the top teams in Ireland here watching them.”
It’s been a highly successful season for Gibson on a personal level and although disappointed to hear of David Moyes’ move to Man United, he feels Everton will continue to improve next season.
“It’s been a good season and I’ve enjoyed it. We have a great squad of players and we finished higher than we did last year.
“It was disappointing to lose the manager. I think it will have an impact but as long as the chairman brings in the right man, I think we’ll be alright.
“I don’t think there will be any diffulty just because the manager’s left.
“As long as he brings someone sensible and knows what they’re doing we’ll be okay.
“I’ve played under two of the best managers in the game in Alex Ferguson and Moyes.
“Both of them have been great to me to be fair and I wish David Moyes all the best.”