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All's Well if Hoops retain their focus, says Rodgers

By Ronnie Esplin

Brendan Rodgers is ignoring two glamour games for Celtic next week to focus on Motherwell today. The Ladbrokes Premiership leaders resume their Champions League campaign with the visit of German side Borussia Monchengladbach next Wednesday at Parkhead, where the Hoops fans thrilled to an exciting 3-3 draw with Manchester City in their last group game.

The following Sunday sees a meeting with Old Firm rivals Rangers in the Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden Park, a match which gives Ulsterman Rodgers the chance to take the next step towards winning his first trophy as Celtic manager following his summer arrival.

The Hoops hammered Mark McGhee's side 5-0 at home in the Betfred Cup in August but Rodgers expects an improvement from the Steelmen and will give them his full attention.

"I am only worried about the next game," said Rodgers, who will assess defender Mikael Lustig and midfielder Nir Bitton who both returned from international duty carrying knocks.

"I am only worried about Motherwell. We will focus on that and get ready for that, it will be a tough game for us, I'm sure.

"I am sure they will make it very difficult for us again."

Celtic face a hectic fixture list in the run up to Christmas as they battle on three fronts with nine games in December.

However, the former Liverpool and Swansea City manager insists that is the price of success.

He said: "We now go into our next block of seven games before the next international break and through November to December we are nearly playing every other day. But that comes from success as well so we can't complain."

Motherwell will have to beware of Moussa Dembele who won the Ladbrokes Premiership player of the month award for September.

The 20-year-old striker has scored 12 times since signing from Fulham in the summer.

Belfast Telegraph


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