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CELTIC BOSS AND SUPPORT HAIL ‘BRILLIANT’ BOYATA

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BRENDAN RODGERS praised Dedryck Boyata for his persistence after a second match-winning goal since returning to the Celtic first team.

The Belgian defender’s close-range header helped the Hoops to beat Aberdeen 1-0 and extend their Premiership lead to 25 points.Boyata also scored the only goal of the game against St Johnstone last week after securing a place following the winter break when Erik Sviatchenko was suspended for the Scottish Cup-tie against Albion Rovers.
And in a significant moment right at the end of the night, Rodgers grabbed a shy looking Boyata and forced him to go centre stage towards the Greeen Brigade and the remaining supporters within the stadium to take their warm applause for a sensational centre-half.Rodgers said: “He has been absolutely brilliant and game on game he has been getting better.
“He has the tools to be a top-class centre-half and at the moment he is producing those performances.”I saw Dedryck as a young player and thought he was destined to be in the English Premier League for many years.”Whatever happened, he found himself here when I came in. At 26, he had all the attributes, but wasn’t playing.

“It was frustrating for him. He was injured and the team started well.”But is is about constant communication. The biggest thing with players is to recognise and acknowledge they are working well and working hard.

“It is difficult when you are not playing, but they have to be ready when the chance comes because I will always reward the players who are playing well and they will stay in the team.”

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