FOLLOWING on from the comments at today’s press conference from Croatian defender Filip Benkovic – see HERE, Brendan Rodgers then gave his own thoughts ahead of the game against Hibs.
“The players have all come back fine and healthy with no injuries,” the manager confirmed, signalling the end of the international break and the return to ‘proper’ football.
Brendan was of course asked for his opinion on Leigh Griffiths pulling out of the Scotland squad to work on his fitness – he had received criticism from Chris Sutton on this point in the two games prior to the break. Brendan was happy to confirm that he backed his Number 9’s decision.
“Leigh Griffiths made the right decision. If you want to play for Scotland and a club like Celtic you have to be physically right. He wants to do himself justice on the field.”
Fitness first is the premise of everything that Rodgers and his team have installed at Celtic over these past few gloriously successful years. And that success has been no fluke.
“We’re always measuring the fitness of players. It’s a constant assessment. We like to play with an intensity and the players have been brilliant,” Brendan explained.
On tomorrow’s visitors, the Celtic manager is clearly an admirer of what Neil Lennon has achieved at Easter Road.
“I’ve been very impressed with Hibs. They never come to sit in and defend so it should make for a fantastic game.
“Neil and his staff lost important players but have replaced them with very good players. Technically they are a gifted team.”
But ultimately for Rodgers it will be about his players rather than the opposition.
“These players have given me everything here. Our aims are very clear and our focus is very clear. We won’t always score 6 goals in a game but our creativity has improved.”
Should be a cracking game tomorrow. Leigh Griffiths is ill today and missed training so is a doubt for tomorrow. Nir Bitton is back in training.