Rodgers welcomes Green Brigade return to Celtic Park as ban ends

Rodgers says that the supporters is 'what makes Celtic tick' as he welcomed the groups return.

Brendan Rodgers has welcomed the Green Brigade’s return to Celtic Park after the group were reinstated following a near two-month ban.

The Hoops manager insists the ultras can help drive the team forward as they look to put two consecutive league defeats behind them against Livingston on Saturday.

Celtic confirmed on Friday that the Green Brigade will be in their usual section of the stadium again for the visit of David Martindale’s men.

The champions currently sit just two points ahead of second placed Rangers with the Ibrox club also having a game in hand meaning the next four games before the winter break will be crucial in the title race.

Bottom club Livi will arrive in Glasgow on Saturday desperate for a win before Celtic travel to Dundee in midweek and finish the year with the second Old Firm game of the season on December 30.

A trip to Paisley to play St Mirren will then be on the horizon for the league leaders on January 2 before the league stops for the winter break.

And Rodgers is convinced that the atmosphere created by the Green Brigade can only be a positive going forward after they agree to abide by a new code of conduct with the club.

Speaking to the media on Friday the manager said: “It’s absolutely everything (to have unity in the stands driving the team forward), but especially at a club like Celtic.

“Celtic is, for the years I’ve known the club, what makes Celtic tick is the support that the fans give the team because there is such an important connection. Celtic’s history is littered with late goals and a big part of that is down to the fans and the whole stadium getting behind the team and that’s what makes Celtic.

“And when you have the manager, the supporters and the players all on the same page then it’s a real force that we have in the game.

“So, yeah it hasn’t been the usual atmosphere for a number of weeks but like I say that is the responsibility of everyone. But we all know that when the atmosphere is white hot at Celtic it makes a really difficult place for teams to come and play and gives our players that extra edge as well.

“So for the guys to be back in, there’s no doubts that they’ve given an ambience in that corner section. The club gave them that opportunity to be the first club in Britain to have that safe standing area, so hopefully they come back in tomorrow and support the team and along with the rest of the stadium get behind the team to help us get the result.

“It’s the responsibility of everyone, firstly I look at the team and what we can do to excite the supporters and that’s what we always aim to do.

“But of course Celtic is always based around that collective spirit in the stands which really drives the team forward.

“But I just think it’s really good news, there’s no point in looking at the past, great news for them that they can get back in to watch their team, because they want to support the team and support the club and hopefully that brings us all together and we can look forward for the rest of the season.”

Matt O’Riley has been one of the stand out players in the country this season and his performances have led to him being linked with a move away from the club.

Inter Milan are the latest to be reportedly looking at the Denmark international with reports on Friday saying the Italian giants could be weighing up a move in January.

But Rodgers has no concerns that his head will be turned and knows a player playing the way he has been this season will alwasy attract interest.

He said: “I don’t have any fears regarding any of the players, I am delighted for Matt that he’s made a fantastic step forward this season as a Celtic player and in his career.

“That shows that his focus, mentality, the training and confidence he’s taken into the game. He will always attract interest of teams but I don’t have any fears, he’s a good guy and he works very, very hard and when you do that and do well you are always going to have interest.

“But for now he is very much focused on performing for Celtic.”

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