Brendan Rodgers addressed the media at Lennoxtown today as his side prepare for their Scottish Cup fifth round tie against St. Johnstone on Sunday.
The home encounter will be the third time Celtic have faced the Saints in just ten days after two 2-0 wins home and away.
After yet another three points and a clean sheet at Parkhead in midweek against Hibernian, the manager will be hoping for a similar display as his men continue their quest for a third consecutive treble.
Airdrie were eased aside in the last round with Scott Sinclair bagging a brace and January recruit Timothy Weah getting his first goal for the club.
The boss discussed Sunday’s opponents, a shortening injury list, the positive impact of the winter break and also the future of a bright academy star.
Take a look below to see what Rodgers had to say to the media!
“We’ve played St Johnstone four times this season, but we’ve always tried to train the players that every game is different. You have to respect every game, and we work very hard on excellency.
“Every game at Celtic is a big game, you don’t need to magnify it any more. It’s always difficult to forecast.
“St Johnstone will make it tough for us, but we’ll focus on playing the very best that we can.”
“Kieran has been back in with the team, which is great news. He’ll need to find football fitness, but it’s great to get him back out on the pitch.”
Injured players returning
“Emilio took a bad knock in Wednesday’s game, so we’ll need to see how he is for the weekend. If he doesn’t make that, he should be fit for Valencia.
“Dedryck Boyata came through very well, so that’s good news.
“Olivier (Ntcham) and Odsonne (Edouard) have been training so that’s also good.
“James Forrest is back into training too, so we’ll see how he is for the weekend.”
Positive impact of winter break
“Leading up to the break there was very little time for coaching and preparing it was all about playing games and recovering.
“The players coming in have added a great energy to us, those boys have settled in really well and have really been taken by the chemistry of the changing room of the culture we have here.
“Obviously players recovering and having the chance to get a breather helps us and also having time to reaffirm a lot our work and map out for the players going forward, what we want to improve on.”
“He’s a very talented boy, but you don’t want to be putting the spotlight on him as a kid, he just needs time.
“We’ve got lots of very talented young players here that need time, that need development and then they know that they have an opportunity here to break into the first team.”
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