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Dubai camp will help rejuvenate Hoops for future battles: Rodgers

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has welcomed the opportunity to take his players warm-weather training in Dubai during the winter break.

It has already been an impressive campaign for Rodgers, whose side are eight points clear at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership and in the Europa League knockout rounds.

Although they have perhaps not hit the heights of last season - a 4-0 defeat to Hearts ended their long unbeaten run - progress has still been serene.

The Ulsterman said: "It's been a really tough season and this gives us a chance to recharge and put some good coaching into the players. We packed so much into the first part of the season so this gives us a chance to focus a lot on the principles of our game."

A tie against Zenit St Petersburg in the last 32 of the Europa League represents something of a success for the Hoops after a third-placed finish in a tough Champions League group.

Rodgers revealed his side have already achieved most of what was set out for them at the start of the campaign.

"We set some goals we wanted to achieve and thus far the players are in a brilliant position," he said. "We are eight points clear in the league, we qualified for the Champions League, we have European football after Christmas and we have won the first domestic trophy on offer."

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