BRENDAN RODGERS admitted he has been impressed with Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson after giving him a helping hand in his coaching career.

The Well gaffer visited the Celtic manager when he was in charge at Liverpool along with former Northern Ireland team-mate David Healy – now Linfield boss – while working with the Irish FA.

The former Luton and Bournemouth midfielder later moved to Fir Park as assistant before returning to the Lanarkshire club in February after a short spell at Oldham.

And the pair now meet as managers for the first time in tomorrow’s Betfred League Cup Final.

Rodgers said: “I was aware of Stephen, of course, I remember him when he was a player – and he was a very good player – and then working with the IFA.

“I didn’t know Stephen at the time, but I was aware that his work was very good when I spoke to a number of people.

“Then Stephen and David Healy came and spent a bit of time with us at Liverpool when I was manager.

“We had a great day talking football and talking about Northern Ireland and everything that goes with it.

“So, that was the first time we had met. They were two really good guys and two guys I am glad to see doing well.

“It was difficult at Oldham, but Stephen has come to Motherwell and has done absolutely brilliant with them.

“When I analyse them and see the intensity at which they work and play with, they leave nothing in the changing room. It’s all out there in the field and they have had some very good results.

“They deserve to be in the Final. They got the results to demonstrate that. I have been very impressed by how he has started at Motherwell.”

LISBON LION Jim Craig is the very special guest on the new CQN Podcast – out now!

Jim releases his new book, Right Back to 67, The Lisbon Lion Diary next week and we are pretty confident that this will be regarded as one of the classic Celtic books of all time.

There has been so much written about 1967 in some very fine books to-date but nothing like this. Jim kept a diary of his time at Celtic and in Right Back to 67 he is able to provide the authentic, inside story. It really is too good to miss.

You can order the book now from CQNBookstore.com and you will receive a signed copy. You can also add a personal dedication which is ideal for a Christmas gift. Simply email david@cqnpublishing.co.uk with your dedication after you have ordered and Jim will sort this for you next week.

Jim is on fine form in the Podcast too, you’ll love it.

A Celtic State of Mind presents its 25th instalment of insightful discussion around the culture of Celtic Football Club, the city of Glasgow, and fans of the reigning invincible Scottish champions.

Jim Craig joined Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham in the Tolbooth Studios in Stirling to discuss the Lisbon Lions’ 50th anniversary celebrations in a year which also saw Celtic winning an invincible treble, a prestigious award from FIFA naming their fans as the best in the world, and even a BAFTA!

In this emotional interview, Jim reminisces about Jock Stein, Billy McNeill, Neilly Mochan, Bertie Auld, Tommy Gemmell, Joe McBride and George Connelly.

He also discusses his latest book, his magnificent Lisbon Lion Diary: Right Back to ’67. This memoir is a real fly-on-the-wall recollection of events from 50 years ago, brought to life by Jim Craig’s intelligent and humorous brand of storytelling. Order HERE.

The CQN Podcast has gone from strength-to-strength over the last few months, and there are many more guests lined up in the months ahead from the world of sport, music, film, art, broadcasting, literature and politics.

Connect with A Celtic State of Mind @PaulDykes, @anorthernprose and @CQNMagazine and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through your podcast player.





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