Mentality Masters – Brendan Rodgers praises Celtic squad mindset

Brendan Rodgers has praised the mentality of his new team, following his first few days working with them at our training camp in Portugal. The ex-Leicester City boss has inherited a winning team as the Hoops swept aside all who blocked their pathway last year in Scottish football, winning another Treble.

After Ange Postecoglou’s departure to the English Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, the Bhoys needed a top-class operator to step into the bpid left by Postecoglou and the Irishman has duly answered the call. Now having had the time to assess the squad that the Greek-Aussie has left behind, the Carnlough man has been left mightily impressed by the mindset of this current crop of Celtic players.

From our training base in Portugal, he said: “The players and the staff are my priority for this early part of pre-season,” he explained, “just trying to ensure we can set the standard early on, and I have to say, everything has been superb and the mentality of everyone really. We came away out to Portugal and the trip’s been really well-organised and the staff have been fantastic.

“Obviously we’ve been working the players really hard because it’s so hot here, but we’re really getting them uncomfortable and that’s what’s needed at this stage of pre-season. I expect them to get uncomfortable – they’re getting themselves uncomfortable – and we’re really pushing them to get this base of fitness that they’re going to need for a really exciting but challenging season ahead.

He said: “The players have come back in a staggered fashion because of the internationals, but they’re really working so hard now that they’re all together. It’s a real challenge, when you’re from back in the UK and you get out to this heat and work in it with that intensity, but the mentality has been superb from my very first day.”

Callum McGregor of Celtic celebrates at the final whistle as Celtic beat Rangers 2-1 in the Viaplay League Cup Final at Hampden Park on February 26, 2023 (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The return of our international star’s Callum McGregor and Greg Taylor has been warmly welcomed and Rodgers has insisted that they are the standard setters of the group. You see that uplift in quality when they do come back, those guys like Callum and Greg Taylor and the other guys who’ve been in the team consistently over these last couple of seasons,” said the manager.

“You see the quality that they bring, so the sessions and the demands in the sessions, and the quality really pushes up a level, and that’s what we want. We have to prepare for everything whilst we’re in this stage so that we’re ready for anything when the season comes and those guys are clearly a big part of that.”

The former Invincible manager was also upbeat about the backroom staff at the club he has managed to retain, and also intimated that they will be crucial in introducing and implementing his methodology and style of play to the group. “Obviously coming in here, I have a vision which isn’t too dissimilar to the method and, stylistically, how the team has played,” the manager explained, “but there are and there will be adaptations to that. I’m a hands-on coach and I like being out there with them and driving it.

John Kennedy speaking to The Celtic Star last season

“John Kennedy, with Gavin and Harry and the football staff, and Stevie Woods with the goalkeepers, have been absolutely brilliant. They implement the vision and how I want to work, and then obviously you’ll see from time to time, I’ll go in and impose that way of working as well, and just tidy up some of the details. But the guys do amazing work.

“That was a big part of it coming back here, having John and Stevie here who understand my methods and how I work, and the standard I like to set, so that was great. John, in particular, really complements my style of teaching so it’s felt really good coming back but my job here is to win and this pre-season is about putting those foundations in place in order for us to do that.”

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

1 Comment

  1. We have a squad tgatcan do the scottish treble but in europe we need a tough tackler in midfield our left backs areto small pulling our central men out of the middle they are alright attacking defending alright when balls on ground but balls in the air we are vunrable im sure Rodgers is are signing players for europe he will be more than happy with the squad for spfl league and cups we should attract one or two cause we are in champions leaque but it will be in 3 or 4 weeks