Blackburn boss Owen Coyle says it is impossible to say whether Shane Duffy is in the right frame of mind to play for the club.
Duffy had a night to forget in Cardiff as he scored two own-goals before being sent off in a 2-1 defeat that continued Blackburn’s wretched start under Coyle.
The Republic of Ireland defender, who has turned down a new Rovers deal amid reported interest from Celtic, also scored an own goal in the Sky Bet Championship bottom club’s 3-0 defeat at Wigan on Saturday.
And asked whether Duffy was in the right frame of mind to play for Blackburn, Coyle said he did not have the answer and suggested that agents had turned the player’s head.
“I think that’s the million dollar question we always face with players,” Coyle said after a third straight league defeat for Blackburn.
“Coming into the club there’s a number of situations I’ve inherited.
“Shane, Ben Marshall… there have been offers that were rejected a couple of weeks ago.
“But what you have in the modern game is third party interest, somebody in one ear telling you one thing, someone else in the other ear telling you another.
“They have their heads turned and you’ve got to manage that in the modern game.
“When you step on that field you’ve got to be at your best and be at your maximum and, unfortunately, that’s not happened tonight.”
3 – Each of the last three goals Blackburn have conceded have been own-goals by Shane Duffy. Unfortunate.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 17, 2016
Duffy will miss Blackburn’s next game – at home to Burton on Saturday – after being sent off in the final minute when frustration got the better of him.
The 24-year-old kicked the ball away in anger after being penalised. The ball struck Cardiff defender Matthew Connolly and he was shown a second yellow card.
“I’ve had chats with Shane, Ben and a few others that they’re in the right mind-set to go and play,” said Coyle.
“Whether it’s a subconscious thing it’s not helping at the moment.
“The important thing for me is it’s going to have to be sorted one way or another.
“We’ve made an offer in good faith. It was an increased offer from the previous contract and obviously when you’ve got your representatives or agents they will have their own agenda.
“We just have to try and get through as best we can, but I will be glad when the window closes.
“We’ve got to sift our way through these issues and get players who represent the history and tradition of the club, because it’s a proud jersey to wear.”