Brendan Rodgers says he is a better manager than first stint at Celtic

The new manager made the comments after returning to Parkhead on Monday.

Brendan Rodgers says he is a better manager than first stint at Celtic SNS Group

Brendan Rodgers is adamant Celtic are getting a better manager this time round than the one that won all seven domestic trophies available to him during his previous spell in Scotland.

The Northern Irishman returned to Parkhead on Monday, almost four and a half years after he left to take charge of Leicester.

In his time at the Foxes, he oversaw FA Cup glory in 2021 and back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the Premier League before things unravelled in his closing season, culminating in his sacking in April as they spiralled towards relegation.

Rodgers explained that his football philosophy remains largely unchanged since he was previously at Celtic but he feels he is returning as a more astute operator overall.

“In terms of how we play my teams always play with an attacking philosophy,” he said. “We always set out to win. That’s never changed. When my teams are at their best that’s what they do.

“I am a better manager than when I sat here seven years ago (at the start of his first spell) and certainly than four years ago.

“Experiences good and bad always help you, and that was the beauty of coming back here. It’s an amazing club and hopefully we can continue moving forward.”

Rodgers is excited about immersing himself back into the Scottish football scene and living in the country once more, even though his home near Glasgow was broken into shortly after his departure for Leicester.

Asked if he was looking forward getting to grips with the cinch Premiership and battling for the title once more, he laughed: “Yes, and battling with the media, that was always good fun!

“I have to say, Scotland brought me a lot of happiness on and off the pitch when I was here. Obviously the joy at Celtic was amazing and how successful we were.

“Off the pitch I had a lot of respect for the city and country as a whole, hence why when we were thinking of coming back, it was not just about the football side.

“Even though the last moments here were difficult off the field, it still didn’t change for us the feelings we had here at Celtic.

“I’m delighted to be here from a professional perspective taking on all the teams, and also from a family perspective.”

Rodgers will find himself going up against an old colleague from his Chelsea and Liverpool days in the shape of Michael Beale, who is now the manager of Celtic’s city rivals Rangers.

The Gers are widely deemed to be stronger now than when they finished third – behind Aberdeen – in both of Rodgers’ first two seasons at Celtic.

“All you can do is beat the opposition in front of you,” he said when asked about the challenge he expects from Rangers. “When I arrived seven years ago, Rangers were just getting promoted.

“They had just beaten Celtic and had a feeling they could win the league. Obviously in the next number of years we were able to focus on ourselves and that allowed us to win trophies and have success. It’ll be exactly the same here.

“Michael is a coach I knew from my Chelsea days, and then he came to Liverpool when I was manager there, I have known him over a period of time.

“He is an excellent coach. But my focus will be purely on Celtic and improving us as a team and that will be my thought process every day.”

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