Liam Scales on the difference the Celtic support and manager makes

Liam Scales has identified two key factors that are helping the Celtic players perform at their best and driving them towards another Scottish Premiership title after just a few weeks ago being seen by many pundits, the bookies and the entire Ibrox supporters as very much second favourites to win a 12th title in 13 seasons.

And the one that was lost probably had neither of these two factors at play when we look back on it.

The first is the Celtic support who have got themselves into title winning mode and turned Celtic Park from an anxiety back to passion as optimistic energy as we witnessed against Hearts at the weekend. That though was just the Celtic support getting ready for this weekend’s Glasgow Derby where 60,000 Celtic supporters will give 100% to the cause to help push the team on to get the win over theRangers that will open up a six points lead and at least a plus seven goal difference advantage with just two games remaining.

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Liam Scales is in now doubt that the players in the Celtic dressing thrive with this backing behind them. Tommy Gemmell once said that with the Celtic supporters behind the team anything is possible, a sentiment the Irish defender, who last week signed a long term contract extension at the club, echoed.

“Is it an advantage? One hundred percent,” Scales said, as reported by Daily Record. “I think there was a spell in midseason when we struggled to create a lot of changes at home and it was definitely a bit nervous. We could feel it in the atmosphere as well.

“The fans have been brilliant though, home and away. Some times we go away and it still feels like a home game,” Scales noted.

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“It’s definitely switched a bit at home in recent times. They have really bought into it and they have been right behind us. It’s more about us being exciting to watch and showing them what we are all about,” the Ireland international centre-half said.

“You can definitely feed off the atmosphere. The energy dictates how players are going to play. You know if you do the right things they will be right there with you. It’s been great.

“There have been times this season I’ve really felt that energy. There’s been some tackles that have felt like scoring goals! You come away feeling really good. It just gives you that buzz and belief to keep going.”

And the second factor that Scales has identified that is driving the squad to the finishing line is their manager Brendan Rodgers who has relished the title battle in recent weeks more than anyone else it seems.

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“The manager is great. He instils a belief in all of us. You might feel under pressure but he takes it away and shows why we are here and makes us belief in ourselves,” Scales said.

“That’s a really good trait and it helps us a lot. I feel like I’m all right under pressure. I think most people are at this level. It would be hard to get to a certain level if you struggled under pressure.

“We have a squad full of players with a good mentality. We are all together and there are no bad eggs. Everyone is working to the same goal. That is what really helps us the most. I don’t want to come across a certain way, but it would be hard to get here if you couldn’t handle the pressure.”

And there is no doubt that Brendan Rodgers in recent weeks has been so outstanding that those in the Celtic support who were against him returning to the club last June after Ange Postecoglou left to join Tottenham, are now starting to forgive and forget. That brings unity back to Celtic and maybe this weekend we’ll even hear a song for Brendan – he certainly deserves it.

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The Ibrox mouth-piece Kenny Miller last weekend was pushing Rodgers for a possible vacancy at Chelsea this summer, describing him as an ‘elite manager’. There’s a compliment in the former and a revealing confession in the other. They fear Brendan. When it came to the crunch the Belgian genius looks increasing more like a clown, failing into trap after mishap as points have been spilled right, left and at Dens Park.

When they had 50,000 of their fans at Ibrox they had the chance to beat Celtic and put the league beyond us without favours. Brendan had other ideas and was unlucky not to take the three points (the dive and VAR review shambles for their penalty and Yang’s personal shambles for their equaliser).

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Now the boot is on the other foot. Brendan Rodgers has 60,000 Celtic supporters at Paradise and knows that a win will leave theRangers looking for favours. And as an elite manager he is unlikely to let that opportunity pass him by. That’s why Kenny Miller is keen to see the back of him.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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