BRENDAN RODGERS is planning to field TWO Celtic teams in James Forrest’s testimonial game against Athletic Bilbao at Parkhead tomorrow night.

The second time-around manager is determined to make sure his first-team squad get as many game-time minutes into their legs as possible before the competitive action kicks off on Flag Day when Ross County provide the opposition for the launch of the Premiership campaign on Saturday at a sold-out stadium.

Rodgers has utilised his player pool during the two matches in Japan against Yokohama F Marinos and Osaka Glamba last week as well as the 1-1 draw with Wolves in the Aviva Stadium at the weekend.

READY, STEADY, GO…the Celtic players in the huddle before the kick-off in Dublin.

Reflecting on the stalemate in Dublin, the Irishman said: “I think it is just about building on the fitness and aspects of the positioning. The team is obviously playing well, but there are certain phases of the play we can improve.

“However, I thought in the build-up, we were really good under pressure.

“It is just about the positional elements and on Tuesday we will play two teams as players need to get some minutes into their legs and then that will be our final preparation before the season starts.”

Rodgers, speaking to Viaplay, added: “The work-out was perfect for us. I thought we had some spells of fantastic football and it was the perfect type of game that we needed.

“Of course, the game gets a bit broken when you are making so many changes so you lose that fluency and the rhythm of the game.

“In the last 25 minutes, we probably gave the ball away too much. We have to be better in that aspect, but, overall, I am really pleased. It was a great exercise.”

Hoops fans are in for a treat tomorrow night as the club pay tribute to one-club servant Forrest who has won a phenomenal 22 honours in his 13 seasons of first-team appearances.

Apart from it being Rodgers’ first time back in the home dug-out in four and a half years, there will be the chance to welcome South Korean new Bhoys Kwon Hyeon-kyu and Yang Hyun-jun plus Norwegian Odin Thiago Holm to Paradise.

There is also the possibility of a glimpse of Polish central defender Maik Nawrocki who missed the match against Wolves with an ankle problem.

There may also be a sighting of Cameron Carter-Vickers who has been sidelined following knee surgery which took place after his last outing in the 1-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Michael Beale’s Ibrox outfit on April 30.

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