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‘I WAS TOO HASTY TO DROP GORDON,’ RODGERS

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CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers has admitted he may have been too hasty to axe international keeper Craig Gordon.

The 33-year-old shotstopper will make his Champions League group stage debut this evening when he faces Manchester City at a sold-out Celtic Park.

But it looked as though he had lost his No.1 place when Rodgers bought his ex-Swansea goalie Dorus de Vries from Nottingham Forest and the 35-year-old Dutchman made his debut in the 4-1 win over Aberdeen on August 27 and kept his place for the 5-1 destruction of Sevco Rangers a week later.unspecified-8
The ex-Dunfermline netminder also kept the gloves for the game against Barcelona in the Nou Camp and shipped seven in the Hoops’ worst-ever result in European competition.
De Vries hasn’t had a shut-out and hasn’t impressed while conceding 12 goals in his four-and-a-half games and was replaced by Gordon at half-time against Kilmarnock at the weekend after landing awkwardly as he allowed a 40-yard effort to beat him to give the Rugby Park side a shock lead.
Rodgers is likely to have fit-again De Vries on the subs’ bench tonight with Gordon restored as his first choice between the stick.
The Hoops gaffer said: “Craig has done well for the club since he came in here and I’m sure he’s looking forward to it.

“The beauty of it is that Craig wants to improve and I believe he has done. He’s a great fellow.

“Craig and I had a really good chat when I was going to make the change. I maybe made that change too early. Dorus was injured and he’d come back and maybe I pushed him in too early, to try to impose that way we want to work.

“So, I take that responsibility. But the bottom line is that we have to win games and Craig and I looked at areas we think he can improve on.

“He has gone away with our goalkeeping coach, Stevie Woods, and when he has come into training, he has been absolutely brilliant, taking it all on board.

“It has given him a determination and, when you’re fighting for your place, it allows you to perform better and focus. He has been first class.”

Asked if Gordon was stronger for being left out and fighting back, Rodgers said: “Yeah, if you speak to him now he will probably say that. It has taken him that time to come out of the team and assess the types of ideas we are looking to implement.

“He has come back a better goalkeeper, that’s for sure.”

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