International

Modest Rodgers eyes equalling British record

2017-10-27 12:00
Brendan Rodgers (Getty Images)

Glasgow - Brendan Rodgers says it isn't easy being good as Celtic's remarkable unbeaten domestic run sees the Scottish champions close in on a 100-year record.

Celtic will match their own British record of 62 matches without defeat - set by Willie Maley's Celtic side between 1915 and 1917 - if they can avoid defeat to Kilmarnock at Parkhead on Saturday.

Rodgers led the Glasgow giants to a number of records in his first season in charge with Celtic becoming the first Scottish Premiership club to go unbeaten through a 38-game league season, setting new points, goals scored and games won records along the way.

However, the 44-year-old Northern Irishman, whose side opened a three point gap at the top of the Premiership following Wednesday's 3-0 win over Aberdeen, admitted he was unaware that he was on the verge of another piece of history.

"We've always stayed focused on the next game. The only time records were mentioned was when the record was 26 and we had got to 23, and 24 and we knew we could beat it," Rodgers said.

"Once we got over that line we have simply focused on the next game. To have no complacency and to win.

"That's what they've done. It's an incredible credit to the players and staff for the mentality to work like that.

"I hear a lot of people talking about 'the ease' with which Celtic do it. But you have to give credit to our players, they have the courage to go into positions to accept the ball."

Celtic's Old Firm rivals Rangers also broke a record this week - albeit an unwelcome one.

Pedro Caixinha became the shortest-serving manager in their history as he was sacked just 229 days after joining from Qatari side Al-Gharafa in March.

The Portuguese paid the price for presiding over a run of results that has left Rangers in fourth place in the Premiership and trailing Celtic by eight points after just 10 games.

The 46-year-old, who won just 14 of his 26 games in charge, was dismissed on Thursday following his side's 1-1 draw with bottom of the table Kilmarnock at Ibrox.

That result followed a 2-0 League Cup semi-final defeat to Motherwell at Hampden on Sunday.

Caixinha could only steer Rangers to a third place finish last season and was at the helm as they suffered their heaviest home loss to Celtic - a 5-1 defeat in April - while Aberdeen also won at Ibrox for the first time in 26 years.

This campaign began with an embarrassing Europa League exit to tiny Progres Niderkorn as the Luxembourg minnows won a European fixture for the first time.

Caixinha, who failed to win three games in a row at Rangers, was allowed to recruit heavily in the summer but his side struggled for consistency and have collected just five points from five homes games.

Development Squad head coach Graeme Murty takes over on an interim basis, as he did before Caixinha's appointment.

His first challenge is the trip to Murrayfield to take on Hearts on Saturday with over 14 000 Rangers fans expected to make the trip to Edinburgh.

Fixtures

Saturday

Hearts v Rangers (13:30), Aberdeen v Ross County, Celtic v Kilmarnock, Dundee v Hamilton, Motherwell v Hibernian, Partick Thistle v St Johnstone (16:00)

Read more on:    celtic  |  brendan rodgers  |  soccer

 

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