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RODGERS CONFIDENT DE VRIES WILL STAY, PRAISES GORDON

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CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers insists he has no concerns about Dorus de Vries seeking a move during the transfer window, despite the keeper’s lack of game time.

The Dutchman, who worked with the Hoops gaffer at Swansea, was signed from Nottingham Forest for £400,000 in August.

De Vries, 35, started ahead of Craig Gordon in five games, including the seven-goal clobbering from Barcelona at the Nou Camp in September.

However, Gordon has since firmly established himself again as the first-choice shotstopper with an impressive run of form, including an eight-game sequence without conceding a goal on the domestic front.

Rodgers feels De Vries, who has also played for Dunfermline and Wolves, has played an important role in his glove rival changing his style of play and is confident he will remain at Parkhead.

He said: “Goalkeepers understand and respect things and Dorus is a good guy. He’s an honest fella and understands where he’s at and that he’s a real part of the squad even though he hasn’t played as much.

“People wonder why I brought in Dorus, but he’s an influence. Craig sees how he’s working and he’s able to sit with him and talk about how I worked at Swansea. That’s helped him along with his own intelligence of how to get better.”

Rodgers has also spoken of his personal satisfaction in helping 34-year-old Gordon transform himself into a “sweeper keeper” and force his way back into the Scotland side.

The goalie spent two years out of football with a complicated knee injury before signing for Celtic in 2014, but has come back even better than the man who played between the sticks at Hearts and Sunderland.

The Hoops gaffer added: “That’s the biggest thing for me, the development of players.

“I always say to the players, when I have my walking stick in my 70s and I meet you and look in your eye I want you to look at me and think: ‘He actually did well for me’.

“I look at Craig Gordon and the developments he has made. I used to watch games and when the ball went back to him, I could sense the crowd (getting nervous). Now he’s calm and it’s not just him, it’s the other players who have to get into position.

“It’s about giving players solutions under pressure and how to cope with it. You have to give him immense credit because, at 32 or 33, he could have said: ‘You know what, this isn’t going to work out’.

“We had a real chat about if he was prepared to do it and now look at him. He’s played against England at Wembley and he’s now keeping clean sheets, participates in the game and is a brilliant reference for Scottish goalkeepers.”

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