BRENDAN RODGERS insists Celtic will not be looking for excuses when they face Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.
The champions will go into enemy territory with the meagre total of 571 fans to back them in their quest for three more points as the Irishman bids to win his third title at the Parkhead club.
Rodgers and his players were without the support of a solitary follower when they travelled to Ibrox early in September and came away with a 1-0 triumph courtesy of a spectacular volleyed strike from Kyogo Furuhashi.
Silence was golden that afternoon in Govan as the visiting players celebrated to the backdrop of barely a murmur from the stunned 50,000 crowd.
ENEMY TERRITORY…Brendan Rodgers in front of the Ibrox dug-out in Celtic’s 1-0 win last month.
It will be similar in Edinburgh with the travelling contingent dwarfed by the vociferous home support, but the second time-around manager, who won back-to-back crowns after arriving for the first time in May 2016, remained unfazed.
Rodgers said: “Any team when you’re playing away, it’s always nice to have a fairly large group of your supporters there to give you that back, but if they’re not there then we can’t use that as an excuse.
“We’ve seen already with no supporters that we can get big results, so we’ll be very much together and the 500-odd supporters there, we can give them a really good day when we’re there.
“We’re coming up for a hectic schedule, but we’ll be concentrating totally on this one.”
Captain Callum McGregor backed his team boss and said: “We just focus on ourselves. We’ve not had a brilliant start, but we’re starting to get there now in terms of our performances being a lot slicker.
SILENT PARTNERS…Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada celebrate the Japanese hitman’s winning goal at Ibrox last month. Beaten keeper Jack Butland doesn’t share their joy.
“The last international break was a good set of results for us, so we’re starting to get on the right track, as well.”
The Scotland international midfielder, speaking to Sky Sports, added: “We just continue to look inside ourselves in the building.
“We have a lot of work to go to where we want to be.
“We just continue to work hard every day, try and prepare the team as best we can and when we get the opportunity to play, get maximum points.”