Celtic in Dubai: ‘Opportunity to introduce some new concepts,’ Rodgers

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BRENDAN RODGERS has been speaking to The Celtic View from his side’s winter training camp in Dubai. The Celtic boss knows that this is a crucial period for him and his players as they all get a chance to enjoy the sunshine, take a break from the punishing playing schedule that started in early July and crucially get the opportunity to develop players on the training ground, a luxury that is usually beyond Celtic with the play -rest/recover – play again schedule that is relentless.

Callum McGregor for instance, has played more minutes of football than any other player in European football so far this season. By the festive period Celtic are usually running on empty and that’s the main reason why Rodgers values the time in January in Dubai so highly.

“We had such a busy first period to the season. After a week’s break with family, it’s now an opportunity to reinforce and introduce some new concepts.

“To do that in the heat is beneficial, and being out here lets us work very closely together. It’s a very important week for us. This is our third time here and I believe we’ve had the benefits over the last two years – so I’m sure we’ll get similar benefits this year,” The Celtic manager said.

“The break is also good for the injured players, but a few of them are still a little while away from full fitness.

“We’ve got Odsonne and Kieran – Kieran probably won’t train this week, but there’s a good period for him to work closely with the medical team. Odsonne will train later on in the week.

“Of course, those are quality players, which means they’re important players for us. It’s going to be very important for us to get them back as quickly as we can.”

The tactical benefits are also so important to the manager who can really focus on each player in Dubai, much more than can happen back at Lennoxtown where the next game is always a day or two away.

“It’s vital,” Brendan said. “There’s not a lot of coaching time during December because a lot of the time the guys are playing a game, recovering, then going straight into their next game.

“This allows us to get invaluable coaching time into the player, and lets you try to reinforce some of the concepts of your game, and how you play. If you decide to bring in new elements to it, this, of course, gives you the time to work on that.”

Brendan will be speaking tomorrow to introduce the two new signings who are scheduled to take their medicals and then be formally introduced as Celtic players thereafter.

Read the full interview with The Celtic manager in the new edition of The Celtic View, which comes out on Wednesday.

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