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SUN YOU WIN, BRENDAN

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BRENDAN RODGERS insists Celtic will return revitalised for the second half of the campaign following their winter break in Dubai.

The champions arrived at their training HQ today and the Hoops boss reckons the rest from competitive action has come at exactly the right time for his players.

Rodgers said: “There is absolutely no doubt, if you can get to December and into that break, it just gives you a real focus.

“Especially if you are playing Champions or Europa League football. You have been playing virtually every midweek. Internationals, too.

“It’s a hard gig. Players aren’t robots. They are human beings and it doesn’t matter how much money the player is paid. For the best quality of the game, you want them to be as fresh as they can be.

“We are in a different training camp, which will be great, and we may have the introduction of one or two players to get a feel for it, too.

“And all under a bit of sun which is nice. We can come back mid-January feeling re-energised for the second part of the season.

“The boys are back in the middle of June. Some of them don’t get a breather because of the international break.

“It will do us the world of good.”

The Hoops looked well off the pace at Ibrox last weekend as they lost their fourth Premiership game of the term in a stop-start term. Injuries and call-offs have hindered Rodgers’ team selections.

The Irishman was forced to start against Steven Gerrard’s side with Kieran Tierney and Odsonne Edouard on the subs’ bench, Tom Rogic missing because of international commitments with Australia and Leigh Griffiths also sidelined due to personal issues.

Those four factors plus the fact the manager had to make enforced substitutions before the second-half – with Mikael Lustig and Filip Benkovic being replaced by Anthony Ralston and Kristoffer Ajer –  didn’t help the cause.

Rodgers made no excuses following the loss, but the defeat hurt and the seven-in-a-row title kings are determined to return with some answers for their critics later this month.

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