CRAIG GORDON owes a debt of gratitude to glove rival Dorus De Vries – that’s the view of Brendan Rodgers.
The Celtic boss insists the veteran Dutch keeper brought out the best in the Scotland international last season when he briefly got the nod to take the No.1 position at the Hoops.
De Vries, 37, has now taken over while Gordon, two years his junior, recovers from a knee injury he sustained in the recent 1-0 win over Hibs at Parkhead.
The former £9million man is expected to be out for at least another 10 weeks.
Rodgers said: “Dorus came in and, along with Craig’s appetite to want to work and improve himself, I think both of them have really pushed each other on.
“He has been a loyal support for Craig and showed incredible professionalism in how he has looked after his body and his mind to make sure he was always ready to play.
“Obviously, Craig is out of the team and there was a point last season where a Premier League club wanted to take [De Vries], but I was able to talk him through and convince him to stay.
“He loves being here at Celtic and now he is getting the chance to play.”
And the Irishman maintained the Hoops fans have yet to see the best of De Vries.Rodgers added: “He is certainly a better player than on what people are judging him on, really.
“He is a goalkeeper who has worked in the Premier League and worked at a level that tells you he is a really competent goalkeeper.
“Of course, Craig coming out of the time was a decision of mine, not a decision of Dorus, but, ultimately, it was a decision that really helped Craig.
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“Dorus knew how I wanted my goalkeepers to work and Craig could see that on a day-to-day basis.
“But he came off with an injury at half-time in the Kilmarnock game last season and Craig didn’t look back.
“Both have been outstanding in their different ways and have experience, while we have some good young ones below that with good talent.
“There’s a great run of games for Dorus to play now.”