CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers has warned his players they will be heading for the Parkhead exit if they lose their focus, ambition and drive.

The Irishman insisted there is no way the Premiership pacesetters will get complacent despite an eight-point lead at the top of the table going into this afternoon’s game against Motherwell at Fir Park.

The Betfred Cup is already in the trophy room and the Hoops take on part-time Albion Rovers in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup next month.

Rodgers’ men are facing nine games in 27 days before the winter shutdown and he is demanding a massive push from his squad.

He said: “We set out goals at the start of the season and those goals are not met after 11 games.

“We’ve got a series of targets we need to meet and to do that there are certain facets we need to improve.

“This is about raising the standard of everything – on and off the field – and to do that you keep chipping away every day.

“If you want to be complacent, then you won’t be here. You are only here if you want to be better.

“Do we want to be relentless? Absolutely. You can’t release yourself from the pressure if you want to be the best. There’s always pressure, but it’s a nice pressure, to improve your status and improve as a player.

“There’s great motivation there for them all and it’s every single day, from the moment they wake up.

“That gives you confidence that you are going to improve.”

Rodgers added: “My only worry is for us. I can’t worry about what the critics will say. There will always be critics.

“One thing you learn as a manager, is there are three types. The first will support you and recognise that because you are manager of Celtic they want you to do well. 

“The other group are people who will say: ‘Okay he’s doing a good job, but we’ll see.’

“The third group, it wouldn’t matter if you won 15 out of 16. You should have won the 16th.

“If you won 5-0, you should have won seven. If you won eight, you should have won nine.

“They are always there. Why I can stay calm is because I don’t worry about them. I worry about the two out of the three. But that group will always be there.

“So, I don’t spend my time worrying about them. For us and the players we keep driving and pushing forward.

“We will lose at some point. But let’s keep going and keep going, bringing our A game as often as we can.”

Kenny of the Celtic is just one of the great Celtic books available at www.cqnbookstore.com – where you’ll also see a great choice in Celtic DVDs.

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