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RODGERS CONTINUES PLAYER SEARCH AS DE VRIES ARRIVES

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BRENDAN RODGERS is looking for two new players for his Celtic squad, but would settle for one before the transfer window closes in two weeks’ time.

The Hoops boss, however, reckons he has enough strength in depth to lead the team into the money-spinning Champions League group stages.img_1861.jpg

Rodgers has brought in Moussa Dembele, Kolo Ture, Scott Sinclair and Dorus de Vries this summer while Kristoffer Ajer arrived on a pre-contract deal from FK Start in January.

The Irishman believes his side is well prepared for the £20million Champions League play-off first leg tie against Israeli title-holders Hapoel Be’er-Sheva at Parkhead in midweek.

Rodgers said: “If we could get one more player in that would be the ideal. If we do that, we’d have had an incredible market in terms of what we’ve been able to bring in – the club couldn’t have done any more. They have given me great support.

“In all fairness, when I took the job I said I would assess the team. The team were Scottish champions and I had to be fair to them and assess the players before I decided what I needed.

“You have to give huge credit to Peter Lawwell, the board and Dermot Desmond for backing me to get the players I wanted to get in. We have arrived at the point where there’s still a lot of improvement to come, but we have shown good signs that the team can play at the tempo and with the technique I want.

“We get to Wednesday in a really good position. It’s the final step and it’s a big step we need to take. We arrive at it with a bit of confidence.

“Hopefully, we can win the game and take some sort of advantage to the second leg. I’m feeling good about it. I think we’ve done everything we possibly could. I don’t think we could have done any more.”

Rodgers felt that the club was still suffering a Scottish Cup hangover when he took over from Ronny Deila at the end of May. He now believes his players are in much better shape.

He added: “I saw the games towards the end of the season and the team was suffering after the Rangers (sic) game. The team wasn’t in a good place. When I took the job I looked forward to see how they would develop and cope with what I wanted.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised from a positive perspective. The players have bought into what we are doing. Now we have a mentality at the club of dominance, of wanting to be aggressive and press and we play without fear.

“I still felt the players needed help and needed to bring a different tempo to the game, but they have done that. Now there’s more hard work to do.”

Shane Duffy, who scored an own goal in another reverse for Blackburn at the weekend, remains on the Rodgers shopping list.

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