BRENDAN RODGERS will be up against a familiar face at Parkhead today with his former Chelsea colleague Steve Clarke in the Kilmarnock dug-out.

The Celtic boss admitted he owed a debt of gratitude to the newly-appointed Rugby Park gaffer.

Rodgers said: “I first came across Stevie when I was a youth coach at Reading and he was at Chelsea.

“He actually put my name forward for the role at Chelsea at the time when he stepped up to work with Jose Mourinho.

“He’s an excellent coach and the biggest surprise was how long it took him to get a job after Reading where he did a very good job.

“It’s a coup for Kilmarnock getting him. If you look at the league there’s a really high level of coaches and it’s testament that guys like him and Owen Coyle have come up.”

Rodgers was also praised in midweek by Aberdeen legend Willie Miller after the Hoops’ 3-0 victory at Pittodrie.

He added: “I don’t look for validation, but there was a real nice comment from Willie Miller.

“He is someone I respected as a footballer. I have never met him in my life and towards the end of the game he talked about how he hadn’t seen a Scottish team play this way.

“I’ve taken a Swansea team around the Premier League and a Liverpool team around the Premier League and played in some big pressure games and played well. 

“That was right up there with those games. That is a deliverance of how we work.”

Brendan Rodgers – The Road to Paradise is out now and available from www.cqnbookstore.com

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