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Bhoys have clicked up gears, says Rodgers

 

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

By Ronnie Esplin

Brendan Rodgers believes his Celtic side go into the St Mirren game tomorrow in better shape than when they dropped two valuable Premiership points to the Saints earlier in the season.

Former Coleraine chief Oran Kearney's first game as Buddies boss saw them hold the 10-man champions to a shock goalless draw in Paisley on September 14.

Celtic trailed leaders Hearts at the time but go into the match against second-bottom St Mirren top of the table over Rangers on goal difference and with a game in hand, while having seen off Airdrie 3-0 on Saturday to secure a place in the next round of the William Hill Scottish Cup where they will meet St Johnstone.

The Ulsterman said: "We dominated the game earlier in the season but weren't so much of a goal threat. We lost Olivier Ntcham but even with 10 men we had a lot of possession.

"But the team is in a different place now in terms of the quality of our game and the level, and what the players have become very good at over these last few seasons is looking to cope and deal with teams that sit in deep.

"I am sure Oran will have his team really compact and tight, looking to play on the counter and look to keep it as tight as long as they can. We will prepare for a tough game."

Rodgers does hope to see improvement on the costly Parkhead pitch which looked in distress for the cup game at the weekend. The former Liverpool boss said: "It is something unfortunate, nothing that the groundstaff could have done.

"A slight disease in the surface which has just been unfortunate.

"I am sure it will get back to the level we hope it would be at."

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