Chris Davies on building a player, pressure, decision making. An insight into this Celtic team


Celtic assistant manager, Chris Davies, met Harry Brady of Celtic Underground, PaulT from ByTheMinute Celtic and myself in dressing room at Lennoxtown on Monday. Harry recorded the interview for podcasting, which you can access here.

The overreaching observation from the conversation is that Chris Davies is not an assistant manager who is there just to put the cones out, or be some kind of go-between, sorting out frictions between manager and players. His primary responsibility is to get tactical aspects of the team plan right.

You don’t stroll into a dressing room and expect your subject to tell you he has learned from Professor Steve Peters, author of The Chimp Paradox, but Chris explained this is where he, and his mentor, Brendan Rodgers, have been in their quest to put players on the field in the best possible condition, physically and mentally.

He talks about building a player and about the team collective, “11 players, one brain”. How this approach gives the coaching staff a structure to rehabilitate a player who is out of form, something we have seen markedly with Dedryck Boyata and Craig Gordon.

Player feedback is also an important aspect of management at Lennoxtown. Every training session is videoed and the coaches are in before 7am to get the day’s preparation underway. In the afternoons they discuss each player, his metrics and what they should speak to him about. Players are expected to “be their best every single day in training”.

I got the feeling that the Shankly adage that players need their brains to be in their feet doesn’t apply to this Celtic team. A big part of what players are asked to do is improve their decision-making.

There are lots of gems in the inverview, “The (5-1) game against Rangers was a statement game; we blew them away”.

One of the critical parts of the season was the second half away to Hapoel Be’re Shiva. Celtic were 2-0 down on the night, playing poorly and a single goal away from elimination from the Champions League qualfiers.

Chris talked about the pressure of that occasion, how the players and he fed off Brendan Rodgers’ experience and got the job done.

The interview (available here) gives a great and rare insight into what’s going on behind the scenes at Celtic, you’ll enjoy it.


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  1. !!Bada Bing!! on

    A hard game tonight, no Forrest or Roberts, i think Gamboa might have a part to play down the right side of the park.

  2. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to it the recent Glasgow is Green podcast with Thomas Rogne gives a good idea what some ex-players feel about their time a Celtic.

  3. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    MELBOURNE MICK on 1ST MARCH 2017 12:14 PM


    Hello again all you young rebels.




    All of a sudden were into autumn here in Oz but you wouldn’t



    think it as the weather seems to be getting hotter, 32 degs



    tonight at our young bhoys soccer training and they were downing



    gallons of water like us old timers do the Guinness.



    The club decided to move our two main Celtic bhoys up into the



    under 15’s from 13’s because off their ability and their size but



    they’re not happy as their other Celtic pals and our African protege



    remain as they are still only twelve and small, it’s a big jump for our



    bhoys as some of these under 15’s would give big Bobo a hard time



    but our bhoys will handle it and it’s good preparation for their time



    at the Celtic academy at easter.



    It’s also a busy few weeks ahead for our CSC and Paddymacoz and



    his committee are working hard getting everything in place for



    various upcoming functions including our St Patricks day Sunday



    19 th, the usual city counsel jobsworths have told us our huge banner



    which covers the front of our club hotel wont be allowed again this



    year for safety reasons as they always do, but our ghirls dont seem to



    have much respect for officialdom, it will be up, anyway i’d like to see



    them trying to stop it that would be fun.



    Still looking to help our Belfast pal and his partner get tickets for the



    stickies game on their last visit home so please let me know if anybody



    can help.



    H.H Mick

  4. JFH



    Great news your good lady is home!


    Prayers said for a speedy recovery.






    Hope your brother in law gets good news!


    Wee prayer said.






    Sad news about your Dad.


    Prayer said for a full recovery.



    God bless you all!

  5. Melbourne Mick on

    Damn ? i’ve done it again and posted on the last blog you would


    think i’d be wise to this after all these years on here, could somebody


    copy it on to this page please, ta much.


    H.H MICK


    p.s thoughts and prayers for JFH’S wife’s good recovery and VFR800’s



  6. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Belfast Celt, from the last blog, you’re welcome.



    A fully fit Tom Rogic is a great boist for our team. His performances and goals this season have made this season even more enjoyable.



    His goal at Pittodrie was , in my mind, one of our best goals this season. Gret touch with his right foot than a fantastic finish with his left.



    I have just read the Celtic Quick News artice about Efe. A really good read about a really good man. He is cerdit to his family and Celtic.



    No running to the media about not getting a game , no fuss made by him about not being in our match day squad. Several posters have posted over the last year that he does a lot for people off the pitch while taking no plaudits. If that is the case, he has went up even higher in my estimation of the person he is.



    Efe should leave with our best wishes and no recrimination . Some coments on twitter about him from Celtic fans are embarrassing and over the top.



    If we we win the league , at the trophy presentation, it would be good to see Efe doing one last somersault offthe podium.


    I recommend a book about an ape who is able to make rudimentary gravy:The Chimp Paradoxo. ;)

  8. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Thanks for the kind words about my B-I-L; Babasonic, your auld da is added to my prayer list.












    My thoughts and best wishes to your respective loved ones.




  10. BABASONICOS71 on 1st March 2017 12:26 pm



    I recommend a book about an ape who is able to make rudimentary gravy:The Chimp Paradoxo. ;)





    Is that really the bisto you can do??

  11. I recommend a book about the ability of successive Sevco managers to take the second-biggest budget in Scotland and STILL put a garbage team on the park.



    It’s called the Chump Paradox.



    just getting my coat now…

  12. Great stuff from Lenny………………..


    The Irishman said: “I know some people will moan. I could moan about other clubs spending too much money, going into debt, administration and stuff like that, but I don’t.


    “I could moan about clubs going out and buying nine players in the January transfer window, but I don’t. We could have done that, but we might have stretched ourselves.


    “This club runs the way we think is the right way, we knew the emergency window was an option. If it was taken away, then we wouldn’t use it. But it is there to be used, we’ve used it.


    “We haven’t broken a single rule or law. If people are unhappy about it, then they can write to the SFA and ask them to scrap the rule.


    “It’s an advantage to anyone who wants to use it – so shut up, just shut up!”






    Great news re your Mrs.





  13. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Some posters have asked if we can win the League against the monkeys on Sunday 12th March.



    Mathematically we cannot; if we win tonight we need 7 points to make it mathematically impossible for the Dandy Dons to catch us. However, if they lose to Motherwell on the 11th of March we can all but secure the title by beating Soft Loans FC on the 12th; we would need to lose every game and the Dons win theirs and turn around a goal difference of around 30 goals to make that possible.



    The likely scenario is that we need to beat ICT tonight, Comedy FC on the 12th March and follow up with a win against Dundee at Dens Park. We could then clinch the title against Hertz at Tynecastle on Sunday 2nd April. This assumes that Aberdeen win against Motherwell at Pittodrie, Dundee at Dens Park and Hearts at Pittodrie.





  14. starry plough on 1st March 2017 12:34 pm







    I really think it’s time you take stock mate:)))




    Aye, you would knorr.

  15. BABASONICOS71 on



    Jus mocking my puns?That’s the stockpots calling the kettle black. ;))

  16. The Battered Bunnet on 1st March 2017 12:42 pm



    Good Lord, Puns about gravy!



    Is this what we’ve been reduced to?




    I’ve got bouillons of them.

  17. BABASONICOS71 on

    To those wishing well for my old man,very much appreciated,thank you all.As usual on here,goodness isn’t long to emerge or hard to find.


    Great wee place this.

  18. The Battered Bunnet on

    Hey Clumps, you could record that to “We Didn’t Start the Fire”




  19. Melbourne Mick on

    According to a poster on SFM it’s big Billy’s birthday on


    Thur. 2nd March and suggested a wee tribute, wouldn’t


    it be nice if all the Celtic blogs did one as well as ours


    Paul 67 ?


    H.H Mick

  20. glendalystonsils on



    Good Lord, Puns about gravy!




    Is this what we’ve been reduced to?



    I agree. We need to restore some gravytas to the blog.

  21. South Of Tunis on

    .Film worth seeing —



    Saint Misbehavin ‘ -The Wavy Gravy Movie .



    Interesting man – his career includes touring with Lenny Bruce and being The Grateful Dead’s official clown.



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