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Rodgers and Petrov attracted me to Parkhead, reveals Sinclair

By Ronnie Esplin

Scott Sinclair has revealed Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov helped sell him on the move to Parkhead.

The 27-year-old forward made a memorable start to his Hoops career on Sunday when he came off the bench to score the late winner in a 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership victory over Hearts at Tynecastle only hours after his four-year deal from Aston Villa was confirmed.

Midfielder Petrov, 37, became a huge favourite at Celtic Park between 1999 and 2006 before he moved to Villa Park, where he trained in pre-season in a bid to win a contract four years after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Sinclair, who admitted he "couldn't ask for a better start" with his 81st-minute finish in Gorgie, spoke to the Bulgarian before signing for a fee reported as being worth as much as £4.5m with add-ons.

"Most players know about Celtic," he said. "It is a massive club and they have probably got one of the most passionate sets of fans in football.

"I spoke to Stan, asked him questions and he basically told me you will never experience the atmosphere and what the fans are like (elsewhere).

"He thought it would be great for me to get my football back on track. He didn't really give me a direct leave or stay but was basically talking about the club and his experiences.

"He said if I was going to play at Aston Villa then it was my decision. It is for me to enjoy the football again, the passion and desire. You saw that when I came on and sprinted from my half to get on to the ball (and score) and that's what I want to bring back, the excitement of playing."

Sinclair also stressed the important part Ulsterman Brendan Rodgers, his boss at Swansea, played in his move.

"He lets me go and express myself," said Sinclair. "The manager knows what I bring, I know what to expect from him and that's why he led me to this club. It is great to work under a manager like that."

Belfast Telegraph


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