“You know what Celtic is like, it’s not just the football,” Brendan Rodgers

Former St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin pointed out to Brendan Rodgers in yesterday’s post-match interview with the Celtic manager, which also featured Neil Lennon, that we you exclude experienced players Callum McGregor and Joe Hart that that was a very young Celtic side that got the better of St Mirren in the Scottish Cup tie in Paisley yesterday afternoon.

And Brendan Rodgers talked openly about the injury situation that has clearly hammered Celtic’s fluency this season before the two Celtic managers talked about the crisis that only our club could find itself in given we’ve won eight and drawn one of our last nine games will coping with injuries to key players and having others away at the Asian Cup.

Rodgers was asked by Goodwin about two of these injured stars, Greg Taylor and Cameron Carter-Vickers and the manager gave an injury update and talked about the impact with player have on the team.

“Greg Taylor has been a big miss for us,” Rodgers admitted. “With someone like Greg, it’s only when he is out the team you see what he brings. His brightness, his cleverness, his technique his physicaity in terms of running into the right areas but’s he’s back training and he’ll be available for next weekend.”

And on Celtic’s rock at the back, Rodgers concedes that while he’ll be back shortly, it’s probably going to be next season before he’s back to his best, due to the injury problems he had this season after his operation in the the spring last year.

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

“Carter Vickers won’t be too long, again he is out on the pitch,” Brendan said. “It’s been a challenging year for him. He has had the operation and you know what it is like, from that there, he’s had rumblings then and it’s maybe taken this whole year to get over that and then have a good pre-season. But he’s back on the pitch and hopefully in the next few weeks he’ll be okay.”

CCV being missing is a huge problem for Rodgers as he explains, describing the centre of defence as the most important part of his team.

“It’s the biggest part of the pitch for me, the centre-halves in particular because it’s two players but it’s one position. You need two players that are in sync and I think that is always the basis of a good team. Sadly for us we have been missing Cam, who is or top centre-half, for a lot of the season,” the Celtic managed stated.

“But Welshy and Scaley have come in and have done great. Welshy hasn’t played a lot and when he has he’s picked up a knock. But I thought those two were really competitive today and dealt well with the big centre-forward.

Neil Lennon noted that that’s eight wins and a draw out of the last nine, games for Rodgers’ side, describing that run of results in a different way that it has perhaps been perceived elsewhere. “It’s not bad…” the former Celtic boss noted and Brendan agreed.

“It’s Celtic. Listen you guys know as well as anyone. It’s one where you are a winning club and you have the winning mentality, I think that they are trying to gang up on us now.

Lennon added to his point by referring to the narrative that’s been out there. “Sometimes the narrative has got to be realistic. Eight wins and a draw out of nine games, considering all these outside problems that the club is supposed to be having, the players have responded brilliantly. And I think Joe Hart has been great as well.”

Brendan agreed on the inspirational goalkeeper who is currently in his best run of form this season, as he strengthens his case for a new contract this summer. Hopefully that happens even if the club brings in a new keeper as is widely expected.

“Aye, he’s been brilliant,” Brendan said. “He is so clean. Anything that comes in, he takes pressure off. Some of the team we’ve played have put in really good quality crosses but he deals with that really well. But that was the message to the players really. It’s one where when you are successful and this club has been successful for a long period, it doesn’t take much for people to want to bring you down.

“It’s a high bar, it’s your fault!” Neil Lennon noted.

“I think for us it’s about keeping that calmness,” Brendan replied. “We know that we haven’t been consistently playing to the level but we’ll get there and obviously when all the pitches get better it will be a bit quicker. I can’t complain about the players, the guys coming in, adapting and giving us absolutely everything .

“It’s dealing with the mentality, you know what Celtic is like, it’s not just the football. It’s the expectation that comes with it, so when that is placed on you as a really young player it takes time to adapt to that. But they are working very well and we are getting the wins which is very important.”

An interesting interview this one, well worth watching on the link provided below.

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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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. 3 Proper football men who know what they are talking about.
    Kenny Miller is partially right.
    “ The Celtic fans are spoilt”
    At least the younger fry are.
    Some of us however like your good self are enjoying the good times.
    Keep the faith.
    Hail Hail.