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BOYATA THANKS BRENDAN

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CELTIC defender Dedryck Boyata has praised Brendan Rodgers for his upsurge in form.

The Belgian international, who has played in three of his countries four games in the World Cup Finals, was struggling to make an impact at the Hoops before the Irishman arrived in May 2016.

Boyata said: “I was making mistakes at Celtic initially and had problems concentrating.

“Then along came Brendan Rodgers and he listed a number of things I had to improve.

“I had to defend from the front, stop misplacing passes – not even in training. He wanted my fitness to improve and he wanted me to increase my concentration.

“I got back into the side and I like to think I have carried my form on to the World Cup.”

Boyata played in the group matches against Panama, Tunisia and England, but was on the substitutes’ bench during the Belgians’ dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Japan on Monday with captain Vincent Kompany starting his first tie.

The centre-half, who cost £1million when Ronny Deila signed him from Manchester City in August 2015, is out of contract next summer.

Rodgers is keen for the 27-year-old player to commit his future to the champions.

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