Rodgers praises three Celtic stars and gives brilliant Hatate update

Brendan Rodgers yesterday praised stand-out performers Yang and Tomoki from there performances over the past few games, Matt O’Riley for his impact throughout the season and also provided welcome news on an imminent return for Reo Hatate.

Yang – now for consistency 

Yang Hyun-Jun of Celtic and Owen Beck of Dundee – Celtic v Dundee, Scottish Premiership, Football, Celtic Park,  28 February  Photo Mark Runnacles/Shutterstock

On Yang the Celtic manager is pleased for the player but now insists that it is all about consistency now for the Korean winger, who was named Man of the Match on Wednesday night as Celtic demolished Dundee 7-1.

“It’s consistency now. I think what was really good about him was after the game I said he played against Owen Beck earlier on in the season and Owen played him really well, meaning he didn’t have so much joy,” the Celtic manager stated.

Yang Hyun-Jun of Celtic and Luke McCowan of Dundee Celtic v Dundee, Scottish Premiership, Celtic Park, 28 Feb 2024. Photo Mark Runnacles/Shutterstock

“I think you can see his progression over six/seven months and his development. Of course, some hit the ground running and others take time, especially at a big club like this here.

“He showed up really well the other night and was really strong. Good in the one-v-ones and linked up with the full-back well and the midfielder on his side, and ran himself into the ground in the pressing aspect.

“Really pleased for him, a talented young player, but for all young players it’s about consistency and now it’s onto the next game.”

Trusting Tomoki 

On Tomoki Iwata, Rodgers revealed that he trusts the player and admires his attitude as he has had to wait for his chance to impress in the team.

“He anchors that midfield for us, and allows us to move on. He’s a very good player but he’s missed a lot of moments this season. It looked as if he was going to get his run in the team but he was out injured,” Rodgers said.

“That’s been a challenging time for him, and then it’s just about getting him up to speed and trying to get him in at the right time. I’m really pleased for him because he has given his all in training, he’s just waited for his opportunity.

O’Riley Fantastic Season

“This was a midfield that was very difficult to get into. You look at Matt O’Riley, with all due respect he wasn’t starting last year. You had Callum, Reo Hatate and Aaron Mooy, who were the players that were playing a lot of games. He has come in and had a fantastic season, Matt.

“Tommo has had to be patient but I trust him when he comes in. He plays the game simple, is dynamic at winning the ball back and he’s performed really well in these last few games,” the Celtic manager said.

Hatate’s Return 

Brendan Rodgers with Reo Hatateduring a training session at Lennoxtown ) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Asked if Reo Hatate would be back after the upcoming international break, Rodgers delivered the good news that Celtic fans have been waiting on.

“Hopefully, it will be before that in terms of being with the squad, but he may not be available to play until after it. He’s working really well, and we’ll be happy when he is back.”

Abada status quo

Liel Abada of Celtic scores to give Celtic a 0-1 lead. The goal was disallowed for offside but awarded by referee Kevin Clancy after a VAR check. Aberdeen v Celtic, Cinch Scottish Premiership – 13 Aug 2023 Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

Meanwhile Brendan Rodgers confirmed that there was no change in the Liel Abada situation as the player struggles with outside pressures, meaning he continues to train but will not feature for Celtic.  It’s hard to imagine him ever playing for Celtic again.

Tags Brendan Rodgers Celtic news Celtic Shorts Latest Celtic news Liel Abada Matt O'Riley Reo Hatate Tomoki Iwata Yang
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