“It’s now game on,” Brendan Rodgers relishing Celtic’s title battle

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted that this season has been one of the toughest of his managerial career and accordingly would be the most special of all if he can guide his team to the title ahead of the strong challenge being put up by theRangers, since the arrival of the new club’s current manager Philippe Clement in October.

Yesterday Clement suffered his first Scottish Premiership defeat at Ibrox, losing 2-1 to Motherwell and his only other loss was at Celtic Park on 30 December 2023 when goals from Paulo Bernardo and Kyogo gave Celtic the points in a 2-1 victory.

Today’s Table Topping Target for Celtic 

This lunchtime Celtic know that they can overtake theRangers at the top of the table and go a point clear at the top with a victory away to Hearts at Tynecastle. Ahead of yesterday’s surprise result at Ibrox, Brendan Rodgers spoke to the written mainstream media, about the problems that he’s faced this season and reckons that it’s been unusual for him as his successes in football usually comes in the early stages of his time in a new job.

This time though, it’s been very different back at Celtic.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers attends a press conference at Celtic Park on June 23, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Since coming back it has been one of the toughest (seasons). If you trace back my career, it has normally taken off in the first couple of years in a job. But this has definitely been a challenge. It’s never all going to be plain sailing so you have to adapt and find a way,” Rodgers stated, as reported by Scottish Sun.

Hit the ground running

“You never think anything other than you’ll hit the ground running. But you also know through experience there will be bumps in the road. There has been more this year than I’d have thought.

“When I looked at the squad, guys like Jota and Starfelt were here but that all changed. Then we had injuries and other stuff going on outside of the pitch. These were all things we had to manage and get over. But I’ve still enjoyed being here. It’s immense.

“There’s no doubt this one would be sweeter because of the challenges we’ve faced. Every title you win feels great in different ways. But there’s no doubt that with everything that’s gone on this year – to get over the line this time would be a significant achievement for sure.”

Rodgers actually welcomes the fact that theRangers this season have provided Celtic with a proper title race and the Celtic manager recalls the criticism of the league and his own achievements last time around because they reckoned that there was no challenge forthcoming to Celtic’s dominance.

Rodgers Relishing theRangers Challenge

So the Celtic boss is enjoying the challenge and reckons winning the title this season will accordingly be even sweeter than that never to be forgotten Invincible campaign.

“It’s brilliant, it’s absolutely brilliant – isn’t it? I was here last time when we were 30 points ahead and I had some people saying it wasn’t very good. It’s competition. We’re here to compete and of course, if you do win by X amount of points, great,” Rodgers said.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is seen during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Dundee FC at Celtic Park on February 28, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“But if you win it by one point, that’s great too as you still win. It’s about winning and we’re in this business and we take this pressure. Why? Because of competition.

“We’re competitors and now we have a challenge. We lost the points. We lost the points and we have to gain them back. Now that message is very clear and now we’re ready for the fight. At this stage of the season, it’s in front of you. The targets are simple because the 10 games will go like that.

“It’s now game on.”

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