CELTIC are three points ahead with only four games to play as they zero in on their third successive Premiership title – and the £40million Champions League bounty that comes with the crown.

However, no-one is taking anything for granted and Brendan Rodgers hasn’t given any consideration as to how he will spend the cash windfall.

However, former Hoops goal hero John Hartson insists the club’s hierarchy MUST back their manager if they hope to make a dent among Europe’s elite in the new season.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT…signs are good as Brendan Rodgers celebrates after Celtic’s 2-1 win over Hibs at Easter Road this season.

This term’s campaign saw Rodgers’ side manage a solitary win from six games – the 2-1 victory over Feyenoord in the final outing in their group – while losing home and away to Lazio and being thumped 6-0 by Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital.

The bid got off to the worst possible start when new Bhoys Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Holm were red-carded in Rotterdam as the visitors slumped to a 2-0 loss to their Dutch hosts in September.

Now Celtic are gearing up for another crack at the competition. They face Hearts at Parkhead on Saturday with Rangers due at the same venue a week later. Then Rodgers’ side travel to Rugby Park, where they have lost twice this term, for a midweek fixture with Kilmarnock before the league curtain comes down on Saturday May 18 with St Mirren the visitors.

Hartson has watched his old club stumble their way to their present position in the wake of some erratic displays and dismal results and said: “If they win the league all that will be forgotten about.

EURO EXIT…Brendan Rodgers looks weary as the Champions League participation comes to a conclusion following the 2-1 win over Feyenoord at Parkhead in December.

“They’ll get £40million Champions League money and that would allow Brendan to bring in some players.

“It’s important the Celtic board back Brendan this summer and I think they will. They all saw the disappointing Champions League campaign. I’m not saying they go and spend £10million on a player because that’s not really Celtic’s way.

“But I still expect the board to back Brendan – I think they have to.

“They need to help him get to the second phase of the Champions League because in recent years it’s been awful. It really, really has.”

Turning his attention to the here and now, Hartson, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “Rangers were expected to win the last Old Firm game.

“They were all over it, with fans saying: ‘We’re going to win this’. Everything was against Celtic. It has flipped now and Celtic are in a good position.

COME ON, THE HOOPS…Brendan Rodgers displays his commitment to the cause.

“The way the season has gone, there’s been a lot of twists. At the start, you would have said Celtic were favourites, especially early on with all that happened with Michael Beale.

“But Philippe Clement came in and they went on a fantastic run. But they had a really poor month and that opened the door. It’s up to the Celtic to drive through it.

“Nothing is done yet, but I just think Celtic are slight favourites with the three home games. But they need to win the games irrespective of the Rangers match.

“They’ve lost to Kilmarnock and Hearts this season, so they can’t take anything for granted.”

Click Here for Comments >

About Author