BRENDAN RODGERS labelled Craig Gordon “fantastic” after dropping him in favour of Dorus de Vries in the 4-1 win over Aberdeen yesterday.

The Scotland international shotstopper, after conceding six goals in three games, was left out with the Dutchman, signed from Nottingham Forest recently, coming in for his debut.

However, the Hoops boss was swift to insist 33-year-old Gordon’s Celtic career was NOT over.

Rodgers said: “I always say my teams need to play with control from behind in order for us to play how I want us to play and I thought Dorus came in and did very well.

“I just always think if you can control the game and build the game from behind well, then you will control and build in other areas.

“I want to reiterate, Craig Gordon has been fantastic since he came here. In fairness to him, there has been a lot of unfair focus on him.

“Dorus knows how I work inside out and I am sure Craig Gordon will get an opportunity again.

“Whether that comes the next game, or after, he will be better for this way of working.”

Gordon’s situation could create a problem for Scotland manager Gordon Strachan as he prepares for the World Cup opener against Malta a week tonight.

He is one of three goalies in the squad and the international gaffer will be looking for his confidence to be high.

The shotstopper was blamed in some quarters for both Hapoel Be’er Sheva’s goals in last week’s nervy Champions League play-off in Israel.

To be fair, he also made an early penalty save to prevent the tie turning on its head.

Rodgers, though, will be happy he has two solid and experienced custodians – De Vries is 35 – at his disposal with Belgian Logan Bailly, recovering from a pre-season broken ankle, and young Italian Leo Fasan also completing a talented foursome.

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