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Brendan Rodgers: Celtic one of the biggest clubs in the world

Published 23/05/2016

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after a press conference at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PA
New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after a press conference at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PA

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers insists he has not taken a step down in his career by becoming the new Celtic boss.

The 43-year-old former Liverpool and Swansea manager met the media at Parkhead following confirmation of his appointment on a 12-month rolling contract last week.

Celtic Football Club unveil their new manager Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park Glasgow on May 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
Celtic Football Club unveil their new manager Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park Glasgow on May 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

The Northern Irishman made it clear early in his packed press conference of how he viewed his new post.

He said: "People would maybe talk about the level but Celtic is one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"And for me to come out of the Premier League and come here is certainly not a step down.

"This is one of the great clubs of the world, an institution so for me to come here is a huge honour and a privilege."

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Rodgers quickly rebuffed the suggestion that he could be reunited with former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard, currently playing in the MLS with LA Galaxy, saying: "I think Stevie is enjoying his life in America. He's doing fine over there".

He added of his objectives: "For me the objective is pretty clear, to continue with the domination of Scottish football and also to make an impact in European football.

Celtic Football Club unveil their new manager Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park Glasgow on May 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
Celtic Football Club unveil their new manager Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park Glasgow on May 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

"The traditions of Celtic being the first team to win the European Cup is very important, there has been many great European nights here.

"So that opportunity to revive those fortunes, to get into the Champions League and obviously continue with Scottish football domination.

"First of all we have to look to be competing in the Champions League and you have to qualify and then the objective then is can you get out of the group stages and beyond.

"Of course it is difficult, with the money that is around but you look at Porto, Benfica, those sorts of team that are dominant in their own league and qualify into Champions League and can make a good first of it.

"I am fortunate that I am at a club where I have felt the support from the first conversation that I had with Peter (Lawwell, chief executive) so I know that they will do everything that they possibly can, Dermot (Desmond, major shareholder) also, they will give me very support and I felt a real togetherness with them."

Rodgers, who will complete his background team "over the next couple of weeks", acknowledged the financial differences between the Premier League and the Ladbrokes Premiership.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 23: (L-R) Peter Lawwell Chief Executive, Brendan Rodgers and Celtic Chairman Iain Bankier during the unveiling of new Manager, Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park Glasgow on May 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 23: (L-R) Peter Lawwell Chief Executive, Brendan Rodgers and Celtic Chairman Iain Bankier during the unveiling of new Manager, Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park Glasgow on May 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Lawwell reiterated the need for Celtic "to live within our means and create value" and the new manager insists he is ready to meet that challenge.

"I was comfortable with everything," he said. "I have come from a market and I am now in a different market.

"It is pretty clear the Premier League is the most competitive in the world but this is Celtic, it is a different market of course.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during a press conference at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during a press conference at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

"But I was convinced to come here by Dermot and Peter to be given every possible chance to create the objectives.

"They want to invest in the club, they want to keep the club moving forward but it is also about the players that are here.

"Sometimes people look and want you to go and buy a £10million player or a £5million player but the first look has to be within your own youth department.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 23: Celtic unveil their new Manager, Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park Glasgow on May 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 23: Celtic unveil their new Manager, Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park Glasgow on May 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

"You might have a £5millon or £10million player in your own academy.

"You always look from within your club, it gives you great joy, we had it at Liverpool.

"Raheem Sterling was 17 years of age when we he broke into the team and Raheem left as a £49million player.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during a press conference at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during a press conference at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

"When Luis Suarez came to Liverpool, there wasn't so many people that had heard of Luis and he left and went away as a world-class player.

"That always brings you joy as a coach and a manager - to get that type of player, develop him and improve him.

"Obviously at times players will want to move on. It's about good players and whether they are unknown or a name, it doesn't really matter we want someone who is going to fit into the culture at the club and fight for the shirt.

"So my first look will always be to look there. I think we have a good squad here and of course we want to improve on that."

Rodgers revealed he will look to work with a "tight squad to give young players an opportunity" which means a fair bit of pruning to the unwieldy squad that predecessor Ronny Deila had assembled will be needed.

However, the former Watford and Reading boss will first assess what he has at his disposal.

"I will assess them over the next few weeks and learn as much as I can," he said. "I am aware of the numbers of the players and I know the numbers I want in the squad.

"We will assess all of that quickly as we have (Champions League) qualification games.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting the captain. Scott Brown is someone who I've admired from a distance for a number of years.

"His drive, determination and quality is going to be important for me but we've got other good players as well."

Online Editors

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