BRENDAN RODGERS signed a three-year contract on his return to Celtic in June and vowed to see it through – unless he was “emptied” by the club’s hierarchy.
In other words, gets the boot.
However, the Irishman has promised not to exit unexpectedly as happened in February 2019 when he left to to take over Leicester City after winning seven successive trophies – including two trebles – following his arrival at Parkhead in May 2019 as successor to Ronny Deila.
Rodgers, though, insists he has absolutely NO intention of walking away from the east end of Glasgow as he intends to pick up where he left off first time around, as CQN reported.
STAYING POWER…Brendan Rodgers is ready for three years – at least – of Celtic challenges.
Ex-Hoops gaffer Neil Lennon has already tipped his compatriot to win three Premiership titles which would push Celtic one ahead of their Glasgow neighbours who currently sit on 55, irrespective of how the rest of the football world view the illegal financial wheeling and dealing that helped them to win five of those crowns.
Rodgers has a clear view of the future and says: “I have managed three Premier League clubs. Some people never get the chance to manage one.
“So, I know now coming out of the Premier League, if I never go back there in my life I’ve had a good run.
“For me, there is not that feeling. The challenge was there of the Premier League and I left for that.
“The challenge was top-class players, different systems, top-level managers.
“But I did that with Swansea, Liverpool and Leicester – and there’s only so many jobs you want to do.
“So, my feeling was to come back to Celtic and this is where I am really happy. The mindset changes slightly in terms of you know the landscape and you have a better feel for it.
“You understand the model of the club better. It’s not an acceptance. It’s just you find other ways to help the club progress.”
BEAMING BRENDAN…Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is all smiles with his first title success in season 2016/17.
Quizzed if he can be fully challenged in Scotland, Rodgers answered: “When I was up here for near on three years it was very good for that. There are some outstanding coaches up here.
“Malky Mackay is up at Ross County, but with the greatest respect to them, Malky has shown he’s an excellent manager.
“It wasn’t that long ago I was facing Malky when I was at Liverpool and he was at Cardiff. He was very good tactically, and also a good motivator of his team.
“You see Derek McInnes last week with Kilmarnock. He was outstanding when I was up here the last time.
“He made Aberdeen a really strong team, very difficult to play against and also really competitive. And now you see with the resources he has, he’s doing the same at Kilmarnock.
“There will be other coaches up here. Michael Beale at Rangers is an up-and-coming manager.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the other guys I haven’t met already, like Stephen Robinson.
“There’s always a challenge in every league.
“On top of that, you have regular European football.”
THE LAST HURRAH…Carl Starfelt congratulates Matt O’Riley after the midfielder’s strike in the 4-2 win over Ross County in the Premiership opener at Parkhead.
Rodgers was frustrated in his first spell at the Hoops with players quitting the club, but he has come to terms with such situations.
Filipe Jota has left for Saudi Arabia and Carl Starfelt is on the brink of signing for Celta Vigo.
The 50-year-old manager, speaking to the Scottish Sun, continued: “If you look at the bigger picture, I’m pretty sure in life I’ve made decisions based on my family.
“Carl’s is in a really strong relationship and we all make decisions that are based on relationships or family.
“He’s also getting the chance to go to La Liga, because when most players leave here — and even to my own extent — you’re not leaving Celtic, you’re leaving the league. It’s not this club you’re leaving.
“I left Celtic for the Premier League, the competition. I’ve come back for this club, not the league.
“Young guys like Starfelt are leaving the Premiership to then go and play in La Liga with a greater financial package.
“And then, aligned to that, is a relationship that he’s very happy in. It’s a short life, especially as a footballer, and we have to respect that.
“If it all goes through then, in his time here, he’s been a really good servant to the club.
“Starfelt had a really good partnership with Cameron Carter-Vickers for two years, and he’ll leave here as a fantastic player who won honours. We move on.”
Asked if he expected Starfelt to be leaving so soon, Rodgers added: “No I didn’t anticipate that.
“But you’ve always got to be prepared for folk coming in. I never expected to lose Jota or Starfelt, but that’s the way the game goes.
“There’s an opportunity for Carl. He’s come in here and done really well for a couple of years — he’s a good guy and he worked really well over the course of pre-season.
“It’s no great secret, that’s just the reality.
SWEDE DREAMS…Celtic are eyeing £3million-rated Gustaf Lagerbiekle.
“A lot of these guys come in here and they have a two or three year cycle, and then they look to move on. If they get the chance to move, not to a bigger club, but to a more competitive league, and it’s better for them economically then they are always going to look at it.
“It’s the way of the world. There’s no great secret in it now.
“Players will come in and the supporters now understand the model of the club. History has shown that guys will come in and work really well.
“The real key to it all then is to ensure that, behind it, there is a plan in place for when one of them does go.”
With Starfelt heading out, Rodgers has targted the defender’s fellow-Swede Gustaf Lagerbiekle as a replacement. An announcement on that move is expected soon.
Others will follow – in and out – before the August 31 deadline.