Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Rodgers brushes off noises from Ibrox as focus turns to future

 

By Ronnie Esplin

Brendan Rodgers was not too concerned over Rangers chairman Dave King's claim that Celtic's domination would collapse like "a pack of cards" if the Light Blues won the title and qualified for the Champions League.

The Hoops secured their seventh successive Premiership crown recently and are on course for an unprecedented successive domestic treble.

King, who announced in a media briefing on Monday that the Ibrox club would be having a new share issue which would raise £6million in new money, was also quoted as saying: "We only need one league. We don't need two or three. We need one. Once we take one away, it's a pack of cards."

However, ahead of the Premiership clash with Kilmarnock tonight, Celtic boss Rodgers said: "We always respect every team and every club but I am not one to be looking over the fence at anyone else.

"We have to be defined by what we do and I could not be happier here with how the club is developing and improving - but we always have to be better.

"I don't think of it too seriously either way to be honest. My focus is on Celtic, this is a huge job here and a big enough.

"You always have to be aware of your competitors, you can't be naive enough to not understand and have a little think of what the others are doing but it is not something that is at the forefront of my mind."

Rodgers revealed that striker Odsonne Edouard is all but certain to miss the May 19 William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell with a hamstring injury sustained in Sunday's 3-1 victory over Hearts. The Carnlough man more or less laughed off Jambos boss Craig Levein's assertion that he could "bleat all he wants" about the Tynecastle pitch. Rodgers claimed he was "embarrassed" by the surface, claiming that the length of the grass had forced him to play a more direct style of football.

"I was bleating," said the Parkhead boss. "I have got a lot of time for Craig. I don't know him that well but the times I have spoken to him after games I have enjoyed his company. I had a laugh with him after the game on it.

"But there is no right or wrong. It is my opinion and Craig will have his of course and he should have. I want the best quality game. I feel for people watching the game and the quality. I am not one to just be happy to win the game."

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock winger Jordan Jones will not be available to face Celtic after undergoing a procedure to fix a twisted testicle. The 23-year-old Northern Ireland ace was set to star for Killie at Parkhead before sustaining the injury and manager Steve Clarke is now facing a selection headache for the Ladbrokes Premiership clash.

Kirk Broadfoot and Alan Power will sit out the trip to the champions while defender Stephen O'Donnell is a major doubt.

Jones stated on Twitter: "Gutted to say my season has come to a end! Knew I wasn't right Saturday at Rangers with illness which has led to me having surgery last night! All went well recovering now but i'll miss the next two games!"

Celtic vs Kilmarnock

Scottish Premiership:

Celtic Park, Tonight, 7.45pm

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph