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Damien Duff gives cryptic answer over his Ireland exit in January

Damien Duff has responded publicly for the first time since his exit from the Republic of Ireland...

Damien Duff has responded publicly for the first time since his exit from the Republic of Ireland setup.

Speaking to RTE ahead of Liverpool's match with RB Leipzig on Tuesday, Duff addressed his exit from Stephen Kenny's backroom team in January.

Damien Duff

"I appreciate you have to ask, but I don't really have a lot to say on the matter. I know I've made the right decision, not one day has passed where I've regretted it," Duff told Darragh Maloney.

"I know it's not ideal for the manager, but it is an opportunity for him to bring in a better coach than me. He has already done that on the goalkeeping side with Dean Kiely. A great guy who will bring great energy to the squad, and a top coach who is coaching in the Premier League every week.

"At the end of the day, the only person who has really lost out is me. You're soon forgotten, and I'm sure it's all water under the bridge with staff and players. I should say I've given up because I've walked away from the chance to represent my country, which is a massive, massive honour. The chance to coach elite players, which doesn't come around very often.

"I have probably lost a lot of focus as well, which a lot of ex-players will tell you that you need in your life. But I felt strongly about things, and I would have felt unhappy at myself if I stayed."

Duff acknowledged that he wanted to 'keep it private' what happened with his departure.

"When you guys asked me a couple of weeks ago whether I wanted to do the show, you told me that you were going to have to ask me about it and I was like 'really?'

"I can't hide away in my house forever because I've left the FAI - no way. People say that I've let my country down, I have let nobody down here.

"I will dedicate myself to Irish football in another capacity by coaching and improving young players and myself as well.

"All I ever did from wearing the shirt at under-14 and under-15 level is dedicate myself to Irish football and I have never let my country down, and I will continue to work for Irish football in a different way."

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