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‘BIG-MOUTH CRITICS DON’T WORRY ME,’ INSISTS RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS has come out with all guns blazing after taking flak following Celtic’s 7-1 Champions League hammering from Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes in midweek.

The Hoops boss insisted he will not change his footballing philosophy, as CQN reported yesterday.

The critics opened fire on the Irishman and London-based radio station talkSPORT nonsensically even had a poll to ask punters if Rodgers should resign after the landslide loss in the French capital.

Rodgers – who is preparing his players for tomorrow’s Betfred League Cup Final against Motherwell that could bring him his fourth piece of silverware since taking over last summer – said defiantly: “When you try to have balls to play, then you’re always going to be open to that criticism.

“I’m here to do the best for Celtic and I’ll do what I think is the best thing for the club.

“Hopefully, up until this point it has been okay. I continue to work that way, to be better, to improve the club in as many ways as I can help it.

“I would like to think the players have improved, both individually and as a team.

“They’ve shown courage to go and play. Of course, 7-1, no-one wants that. It’ll always open us to ridicule from people who either don’t watch the game or just look at the result.

“But I can’t affect that. I don’t worry.

“When you have an attacking philosophy people think you don’t necessarily work on defending.

“Fundamentally we defend very well, in terms of how we press and the aggression we have.

“But you also have to respect we’ve come from Ross County on Saturday to play away at PSG.

“It’s not something our players unfortunately are used to – that speed. But it was the same critics who would have said last year when PSG lost the six goals or in the Nou Camp that Thiago Silva should be out, that he’s not a good player because they lose that many goals.

“There will always be criticism. After the games we will need centre-halves, I’m sure.

“It fits the narrative of what the guys need to confirm or not.”

Rodgers insisted the detractors won’t perturb hum unduly.

He added: “I’ve learned through experience just to not listen. The more experienced I get, I listen a lot, lot less.

“After the game, my focus was on just making sure the players were okay, which they were, absolutely fine.

“I’m not on social media. I don’t read so much of the press. I have not actually seen one letter or word that has been spoken.

“Because it’s normally by people who don’t have any commitment to anything.

“So they speak, they talk, they get paid, obviously, for an opinion, but I haven’t seen one word of it. It doesn’t bother me.

“I don’t listen to the phone-ins. It’s all about the narrative and confirming their bias. It might be a bias towards a player, or a even manager.

“Nir Bitton played brilliantly against Bayern Munich, but there are not too many singing his praises.

“But if he doesn’t play then it’s confirmation we need a centre-half. I don’t know how many we need, we’ve got a load of them here.

“Most coaches will learn to deal with it. There are so many critics now. You know it’s there, but you learn to regulate it as you gain more experience.

“You tend not to worry as much. Critics will be asking me about a system against Aberdeen they hadn’t seen before.

“But we’ve been playing it for over a year. These are the guys who are coming in to it now.

“So you tend not to worry.”

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