BRENDAN RODGERS has saluted Hearts boss Craig Levein for giving youth a chance in the top flight.

The Tynecastle boss, who is preparing his troops for tomorrow’s visit of the champions, has introduced 16 year olds Harry Cochrane and Anthony McDonald this season.

Rodgers reckons the former Scotland manager should be hailed for being so bold in his team selections.

He said: “As a coach, you are looking to pick the best team.

“If the best players are your young players then you play them.

“You have to applaud Craig and his staff for having the faith to put them in. I saw the young lad Cochrane play against Linfield in a pre-season friendly and he looked good.

“I also saw him in the derby game against Hibs. He has the personality 
to play.

“At 16, you have no fear. You don’t have a history – it’s all new. You just go and play.

“It’s great that Craig has put trust in them. Some people will ask: ‘Are they too young?’.

“But you need to respect the manager’s judgement.”


A Celtic State of Mind presents its 27th instalment of insightful discussion around the culture of Celtic Football Club, the city of Glasgow, and fans of the reigning invincible Scottish champions.

Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Wembley hero, Jim McCalliog, whose winning goal against England in the 3-2 win in 1967 has gone down in folklore.

Jim takes us a walk down memory lane and looks back on a remarkable career that took in spells at Leeds United, Chelsea, Wolves, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester United.

Jim also lifts the lid on the reason behind his refusal to sign for his boyhood heroes, Celtic, when Sean Fallon came calling.

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, @thecqnpodcast and @CQNMagazine and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through your podcast player.

Listen the latest Podcast on CQN at the bottom of every article published – and there are many every single day of the year!



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