“WHEN the time on the big screens at Celtic Park reached the 69th minute on Wednesday night, the entire home support at Paradise rose in tribute to Brendan Rodgers and his team for their incredible achievement in going 69 domestic games unbeaten.
“That run had ended last Sunday, but as well as cheering the team on as they returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Partick Thistle, the Celtic fans wanted to acknowledge what has been a historic and monumental achievement by the squad.
“It was a gesture that was very warmly received and appreciated by the manager and his squad, and it was also a visible and vocal sign of the togetherness between players and fans at Celtic,” wrote Celtic View editor Paul Cuddihy on the official website the other day.
The idea for the 69th minute tribute started on CQN and was supported by the Celts Are Here guys and it was a resounding success. Hopefully it will be repeated at the three remaining games we have to play this year year, starting this afternoon at Celtic Park against second placed Aberdeen.
Two minutes after the Lisbon tribute stand up for the Champions!
Celtic certainly appreciated the response from the supporters at the final whistle at Tynecastle and again against Patrick Thistle on Wednesday evening with the 69th minute tribute and yesterday Brendan Rodgers explained, using more colorful language than usual, how the group had dealt with their first ever domestic defeat and how they managed to bounce back so smoothly in the 2-0 win over the rock bottom Jags.
“We had a reflective couple of days, as we always do whether we win, lose or draw,” Brendan said. “It was a very good win for us. We scored two excellent goals. Everyone is delighted and fresh and looking forward to our next game now.
“It is all part of the culture we have here. We are very lucky. We have got no d*******s. There is no pointing fingers. So that is what is important. We are very self-reflective. There is no pointing fingers at anyone.
“We weren’t so good (at Tynecastle. But, as I said to the players, you are defined on disappointment in your life. As a man and as a team, how do you respond and get up from it?
‘The players did that. It could have been a very awkward game for us against a stubborn opponent. We controlled the game. What was important for our mentality was keeping our clean sheet. It was a good response.”
Rodgers today will be looking for the group to maintain his 100% record against Aberdeen and the experienced manager knows that it is a big ask but one that his players are more than capable of achieving.
“Every game that we’ve played against Aberdeen, even though we’ve won, has been a tough game,” Brendan said.
“At this period of the season when you’re coming off the back of a really busy schedule then of course it is a difficult game.
“But we’re at home, we’re playing in front of a full house. How a team can be motivated by that level of commitment is a huge plus for us, especially in these moments when we’re playing a lot of games.”
Celtic’s form this season hasn’t if truth be told, matched the standards set in the Invincible season last year, although there have been one or two exceptions to that, most notably the 3-0 win at Pittodrie a few months back when Celtic were simply sensational that night!
“We played very well in the game up there earlier in the season,” recalled Brendan.
“We were in complete control but you have to earn the right to do that. We defended very well, our ball possession and movement was very good and we scored very good goals.
“It’s important for us in how we perform and how we play. Normally the natural consequence of that is we can pick up a positive result and that’s what we’re looking for on Saturday.”
Rodgers knew he’d be facing Derek McInnes over the course of the next week. He may have thought that it would have been next Saturday but having considered his options and the former Rangers player decide against moving to Ibrox to manage the 2012 founded version, so it’s as you were and McInnes will try for the eighth time today to get something from a game against Brendan’s Celtic side.
Rodgers, despite the 7 defeats that McInnes has suffered against Celtic, clearly likes and rates the Aberdeen boss. He even suggested that the SFA should appoint him as the new Scotland manager a few months ago. Incidentally how long does it take to appoint a new boss?
“He’s a good guy, Derek,” Brendan said.
“He clearly wants improvement and wants the team to be better and not only that, he wants to improve the club. I think the job he’s done has proved that. He’s got them up there challenging and credit to him and his staff.
“What’s important is you go into a club that has stability. I was very fortunate to come to Celtic. We have an incredible board here. A real high level of intellect within the club and everything is aligned from strategy to interest. When you have that as a manager then it gives you a great base to build from.”
NEW CQN PODCAST OUT TODAY! CHRISTMAS JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS
Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Celtic authors, Stephen Sullivan and Stevie Murray for a special festive episode – Christmas Jumpers for Goal-Posts.
Stephen Sullivan is a former Celtic View reporter who wrote the much-lauded Sean Fallon biography, ‘Iron Man’. He is now the editor of FIFA.com.
Stevie Murray has now written two books on Celtic – ‘Ten Men Won The League’ and ‘Kenny of the Celtic’ – and he is a respected and authoritative voice on the club.
Connect with A Celtic State of Mind @PaulDykes, @acsom and @CQNMagazine and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through your podcast player.
Treat yourself to a signed copy of Jim Craig – Right Back to 67 and you will receive a copy of That Season on Paradise signed by Bertie Auld, just order the Jim Craig book at CQNbookstore.co.uk and we’ll do the rest…