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ROGIC IBROX BLOW

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CELTIC’S Australian midfielder Tom Rogic is OUT of the Glasgow derby at Ibrox a week today.

Frustrated Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed the fears of the fans following the 3-0 win over Dundee at Parkhead where teenage sensation Mikey Johnston hit a double and Filip Benkovic added a third.

Rogic will be away with his country  for the Asian Cup which starts next month, but will be allowed to play at Pittodrie on Boxing Day.

The Irishman has utilised the Aussie in big games in the past as he rates the playmaker’s temperament. The player has enjoyed a lot of success against Rangers in the past.

However, Rodgers said: “Tom will play in the Aberdeen game and then fly out after that, as far as I’m aware. It’s a shame for him and us.

“What we do is we give young players a chance and opportunities are there for them.

“If they’re not starting and they’re doing well in training in how we work then they get the chance to come in and play.

“We’ve got good depth in our squad and there’s a mixture there of players who have been regulars for us, but also players who are coming through, the likes of Mikey and Tony Ralston.

“It’s great to see young players coming and using that confidence.”

Rodgers witnessed the Hoops going three points clear of Aberdeen at the pinnacle of the Premiership with a game in hand. The Dons beat Hearts 2-0 at Pittodrie this afternoon.

Kilmarnock lost ground with a 1-1 draw against Hamilton Accies while Steven Gerrard’s men take on St Johnstone in Perth tomorrow.

He added: “In my two-and-a-half years here, it was one of the most enjoyable performances that I’ve been involved in.

“At this time of the year sometimes the team can look leggy and tired with the ball. Fatigue can set in when you haven’t got it, but I thought today what was very good was our pressing.

“They didn’t give Dundee the chance to build any sort of sequence of passes or any threat and that was because of the players reading of the game and the brilliance of their counterpressing.

“And that created the chances for us to build the game and it was so enjoyable.

“Some of our play – the young players such as Mikey and Tony to come in and play with that confidence and in our structure – so to see them play at that level and really collectively as a team was so pleasing.”

 
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