Rodgers aiming to go into winter break on a high with win at St Mirren

Celtic travel to Paisley for their first game of 2024 after ending 2023 with a big win.

Rodgers aiming to go into winter break on a high with win at St Mirren SNS Group

Brendan Rodgers wants buoyant Celtic to finish the pre-winter break period on a high against St Mirren on Tuesday.

The Hoops go into the Premiership game in fine fettle following the 2-1 win over Old Firm rivals Rangers at Parkhead on Saturday.

The hard-fought victory took Celtic eight points ahead of the Light Blues albeit they have played two fixtures more ahead of the trip to Paisley.

Stephen Robinson’s side are fresh from a morale-boosting 3-0 win against Aberdeen at Pittodrie and Rodgers recalled the difficulty of the 2-1 win over the Buddies in November as he surveyed the task ahead.

The Celtic boss said: “We played them early on in the season and we had a tough game against them.

“Stephen always sets up his teams really, really well and he will probably go back to playing a 5-4-1 or 5-3-2 so we have to do what we did against Livingston and probe and play at speed.

“But we are very hungry to finish off this period in a very good way.

“We have had a midweek game and Rangers had a clear week to prepare and plan but we went out and performed and it will be no different on Tuesday.

“We were back in first thing in the morning, training, working, getting our plan ready and then you have to back it up and that’s what’s important.”

Long-term injured midfielder Reo Hatate and winger Liel Abada returned to the squad for the visit of Rangers, with the latter coming on as a second-half substitute.

Rodgers “will see” if either or both will be utilised in Paisley.

The former Leicester and Liverpool boss said: “At this stage of the season you are looking at physical condition and what the players can bring.

“I am not in any rush with those two, it was nice for them to be involved. Liel is slightly ahead of Reo so that’s why he got his minutes on Saturday.

“We obviously have one more game and then we have a period of time to get them up to speed but I don’t need to rush them.”

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