CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers refuses to be drawn into making today’s match at Pittodrie – the first Aberdeen v Celtic game since the Betfred Cup Final – into some sort of grudge match.
Aberdeen’s toys came out the pram in the aftermath to losing yet another Cup Final to Celtic but as far as Rodgers is concerned that’s all water under the bridge.
“It’s the emotion of the game,” Brendan said. “They are a good side and have been our nearest challengers. Aberdeen have been second throughout my time here.
“After you lose finals — and that was the third to us — there is so much emotion attached. I’ll just let it go.
“Will we be disciplined? We would not want anything else. You do have to be aggressive but I think it’s been the measure of our performances in the last three seasons.
“We’ve played well because of temperament as well as quality.”
Today’s game added to the trip to Ibrox on Saturday could go a lot way to securing the 8th title in a row with a couple of victories for the Champions but the manager insists that there’s nothing that will be decided by these matches in isolation.
“They will be good and tough games but they won’t define the season.
“Win, lose or draw we still have a second half of the season to come, we have a game in hand and we’ll get better.
“They are important games but we’ve always played well at Pittodrie.
“When we’ve had to battle we’ve battled and we’ve gone there and played incredible football to win. These are games to relish.
“To sustain our success we have had to retain hunger. We are not timid.
“We look to be as honest as we can, to play good football and win. These players relish the opportunity of playing against our biggest rivals.
“Will they rise to it? 150 per cent — I have no reason to doubt it.”
Rodgers welcomes back Kieran Tierney, Mikael Lustig, Dedryck Boyata and Odsonne Edouard to the squad for this afternoon’s match.
Also on The Celtic Star today…
Timothy Weah Exclusive! And No Christmas Eve Carroll on The Celtic Star…See HERE.
Jim Craig – Boxing Day Birthday Bhoys Alec McNair and Steve Chalmers…See HERE.