“Some deals that we just couldn’t get over the line,” Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers spoke to Sky Sports at Lennoxtown this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s Scottish Premiership match against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.  Here’s everything that was said…

Sky Sports: What do you make of the Adam Idah signing?

Brendan Rodgers: “He’s the level of player that we would’ve liked to have brought in. I think I’ve mentioned before that we can only bring in people that I feel are quality signings, and I think that the two guys that we’ve brought in on the short, medium and long term can do well for us. Adam is a young player that I had seen in the premier league breaking through as a youngster. I’ve got to say, I was taken aback by the attributes that he had. I think for one reason or another it hasn’t quite worked out for him so far at Norwich, he had some injuries and whatever else. There’s no doubting his talent, he’s a big talent with big potential and at 22 a player who still has great years ahead of him. Coming here, we’ll work with each other and see if we can maximise that talent. I know he’s delighted to be here, and I’m delighted that he is as well.”

Sky Sports: Was he one that you identified and pushed towards?

Brendan Rodgers: “It doesn’t really matter. It’s all about getting the work done. The club have very hard over this window right to the very end. We’ve had some deals that we just couldn’t get quite over the line, and that wasn’t the club’s problem. Who identifies the players doesn’t really matter, it’s really about finding the quality and the level of player that can come in here and help us progress.”

Sky Sports: You’ve been consistently talking about needing to add the right type and quality of player. Do you feel you’re on the right path with doing that?

Brendan Rodgers: “It’s very easy in the modern game and fashionable to want players and them expect to get them. It’s not necessarily the case. I said back in the summer what I felt the squad needed, and I will always demand that. I don’t want to bring in any players here that aren’t going to challenge the team. That’s something I’m conscious of, but I also understand that we want to develop and improve. Progression is very important for us.

Sky Sports: You mention things that didn’t come off. Supporters were maybe expecting a little bit more. Have you put anything in place now for the summer in terms of long-term planning in that regard?”

Brendan Rodgers: “There always is. From when the summer ended the key window for us was January. Likewise, going out of January into the summer window. What I must also reiterate is that I said before that a big part of my philosophy is about bringing in players of course but improving the players that we have. You have to respect the players that are here so that they can improve and develop more. That’s not to say that we can’t bring other players later down the line that can improve the squad. It works both ways hand in hand. We want to bring in a level of player that can help the team progress, but also our work day to day is about developing the players that are already here.”

Sky Sports: When you listen to supporters and their concerns, they look at the bigger picture of Europe and what was said about the need to add quality. Down the line, will there need to be a significant push in terms of investment and recruitment beyond what you’ve done now?

Brendan Rodgers: “If you want to improve, then absolutely. It goes hand in hand. Developing players here is something that I have always believed in. The support has the right to demand the ambitions of the club. It’s also why I came back here, that I can help the club progress and particularly in Europe and make that progression. That’s something that you can’t just do with the click of your fingers. It’s something that we can fix and I want to improve that. Hopefully, over time we can show that.”

Sky Sports: A few boys moved out. Some to get gametime who weren’t featuring. David Turnbull is one who’s perhaps moved off surprisingly. What were you weighing up in allowing him to leave?

Brendan Rodgers: “David was in the last year of his contract. He made it clear that he wasn’t going to sign. He’d been here a long time, and he’s a good guy. He trained quite well, it probably didn’t work out quite the way he wanted it to. He just needed to go somewhere where he felt he could play regular minutes. From a business perspective, you get to the last year of a contract, then it’s something you have to look at. We wish him well, a good guy who scored some really good goals for us at the club and now he goes on to the next part of his career.”

Cameron Carter-Vickers during the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic and SS Lazio at Celtic Park on October 04, 2023 Photo GreigCowie Sportsphoto/APL

Sky Sports: How is Cameron Carter-Vickers? Is he available for the weekend?

Brendan Rodgers: “No, he’s still a few weeks away. We’ll see how he is in a couple of weeks.”

Football: Asian Cup Japan s Reo Hatate R weighs up his options in the second half of a group stage match against Indonesia at the Asian Cup football tournament at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Jan. 24, 2024.

Sky Sports: Have you had the chance to have an update on Reo Hatate from the Japan FA?

Brendan Rodgers: “Yeah, he’s probably out for five to six weeks with a calf injury. It’s a real shame, but we’ll try and get him back as quickly as we can and look to get treatment on that.”

Aberdeen interim manager Barry Robson arrives prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Aberdeen FC at on February 18, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Sky Sports: For this weekend, what sort of challenge will you get from Aberdeen, given that Barry Robson has left the club?

Brendan Rodgers: “Sad for Barry, and a victim of his own success there. That’s how it works sometimes I’m the modern game. He did great when he came in and brought them through into European football. When you’re in European football it’s a real challenge for the squad when you’re playing midweek and then that expectation at the weekend. I’m gutted for him, because he’s a good guy, and I know he had spent a number of years there and had done well. Now we have to take on the challenge in front of us and going to Pittodrie is never easy. We’re ready for that challenge and the players have been terrific in training. Now we have to take that mentality into the game.”


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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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