BRENDAN RODGERS will take his seat in the stand when Celtic play Livingston in West Lothian on Sunday.

It will be a first for the manager not to be patrolling the touchline when the Hoops are in action on matchday.

Rodgers copped a one-game ban with another suspended after facing the SFA disciplinary committee yesterday to answer comments made about referee Don Robertson and VAR official John Beaton following their perplexing performance in the Hoops’ 2-0 loss to Hearts at Tynecastle on March 3.

Bewilderingly, the Scottish football rulers have appointed Robertson to take charge of the match against Livi which will be played only three days after the Hampden meeting.

THE THINKER…Brendan Rodgers ponders the game at Livingston as he speaks exclusively to Celtic TV.

Rodgers has been cleared to take up his usual position at Ibrox the following week, but the Parkhead gaffer is not even thinking that far ahead.

The concentration is totally on what is certain to be a bumpy ride against David Martindale’s relegation-threatened side who will scrap all the way as they fight for top-flight survival.

Rodgers, who has seen the champions beat their rugged opponents three times this season, said: “Every game in this division can be a difficult game, but it’s about how you perform and our focus will very much be on ourselves.

“We played Livingston only recently. Attacking-wise, we were very good in the game, but we gave too much away for my liking.

“So, our mentality and focus is to go and play to the level of game that we want to play, but making sure that we don’t give much up in terms of opportunities and space.

EARACHE…Alistair Johnston cops a dull one from Livi striker Joel Nouble, but onlooking referee John Robertson takes no action. The match official had already red-carded Joe Hart in Celtic 3-0 win in West Lothian in September. 

“If we can do that, then, hopefully, we can have a very good day.

“Obviously, with Livingston being at home and on the astroturf pitch, they’ll maybe be more accustomed to that.”

Rodgers, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “Whatever team David Martindale puts out, they are normally battling and working very, very hard.

“We have seen that. They are a big physical team that play to their strengths and can play to their strengths well.

“But, really, we have to control our game. Our focus is very much on playing in our rhythm and in our way.

“If we can do that, then we will be able to give the opposition more issues and more to think about.”

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