Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been impressed with how players at the club have taken their chance when brought into the starting line-up recently, saying it’s proof of their professionalism and hard work in training.
Wednesday’s 2-1 win over St Mirren came after the manager had rotated his squad, with David Turnbull finding the net after starting, and a number of other players being given an opportunity to shine.
With 14 games to play before the winter break, Celtic have a busy schedule to contend with as they juggle domestic and European football. Rodgers said that a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to make sure that recovery time and recuperation are managed properly and he is utilising his squad to mitigate the effects.
He’s been pleased with the attitude in the squad and has been delighted at seeing players coming into the team and impressing.
“It’s great and what you want to see,” Rodgers said.
“I think it’s testament to their professionalism. You can’t come in and play to the level David Turnbull did the other night, and score the goal he did, if you’re not focused in training and working hard.
“So the intensity they produce every single day is first class. That allows them to be ready when they do come in.
“All the guys who came in in midweek made a really important contribution for us.”
Rodgers has commented recently on having a large squad to manage and he said there was no problem in keeping players in the right frame of mind even when they were not getting game time every week.
He also highlighted the challenges of squad rotation heading in to a busy fixture period.
“It’s not been a challenge purely because the players understand the situation,” he explained.
“It’s really hard if you’ve got seven or eight players who aren’t involved in the matchday squad but that’s something you navigate your way through. When you get to January that will look different.
“But it’s testament to the mentality of every single one of them, and the coaches.
“John Kennedy, who leads the coaching, does a brilliant job in terms of ensuring that the players are together and that nobody is isolated even though it’s huge numbers.
“The players deserved huge credit because they come in to work very professionally, and they know [the situation] can change very quickly. You might be outside but when you get a chance you have to be ready.”
Rodgers is preparing his side to face Ross County and there is one area of his team’s game that will be getting special attention after David Turnbull’s miss from the penalty spot on Wednesday continued a trend for Celtic.
“We’re not good enough with penalties,” he said. “I’ve made that clear.
“When I look across the period of time… especially with the technically gifted players here.
“It’s something that we will improve on. It’s something you can be better at but you have to practice, practice and practice and get your routine.
“It’s something we do on a daily basis and I can’t deny it’s an area we have to be better in.”
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