Rodgers: I turned down other opportunities for Celtic

Date published: Monday 23rd May 2016 5:36

Brendan Rodgers: Aiming to impress for Celtic

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers insists he joining one of the biggest clubs in the world and set his sights on continuing the domination of Scottish football as well as making an impact again in Europe.

The 43-year-old’s appointment on a 12-month rolling contract was announced by the Ladbrokes Premiership champions on Friday.

Rodgers was presented to the media on Monday afternoon ahead of meeting Hoops supporters at Celtic Park.

The Northern Irishman has been out of work since being sacked by Liverpool last October, but believes the opportunity to take over the Bhoys following the departure of Ronny Deila at the end of the season was one he is relishing.

“I left a really special club at Liverpool. I wanted to have a good rest, to come away from the game for a bit and hopefully go into another big football club,” Rodgers said at a press conference.

“I had opportunities to stick down south in the (Barclays) Premier League or go abroad, but after (chief executive) Peter (Lawwell) called me once Ronny’s annoucement (had been made), out of respect, I spoke to him and when I met, they sold the club to me.

“My emotional attachment (to Celtic) is very strong, it has been for many years… there is a draw for me here…

“(I know) people talk about the level (of Scottish football), but Celtic is one of the biggest clubs in the world, it is certainly not a step down, it is an institution.”

Rodgers added: “The objective is very clear, it is to continue with the domination of Scotland and also make an impact on European football.”


Rodgers will have little time to run the rule over his new squad, with Champions League qualifiers in mid-July as Celtic aim to get back into the group stage after an absence of two seasons.

The 43-year-old, though, is determined to hit the ground running.

He said: “All managers will say they want time to nurture talents but in the games I have seen of the team, what we have got is boys with great attitude, great qualities and they look like they want to work.

“For sure when we come back in the middle of June, we will be ready to go from that very first day, and I can’t wait to get working with the players again.”


Rodgers on Celtic ‘traditions’

Rodgers added: “The traditions of Celtic being the first British team to win the European Cup is very important, and there has been many great nights of European football here at Parkhead.

“First and foremost, we would want to be competing for the Champions League, but to do that, you have to qualify. After then certainly the objective is to get out of the group stages and beyond.

“Of course it is difficult with the money around, but if you look at the like of Porto and Benfica, those are teams who are dominant in their own league, qualify into European football and can go on to make a good fist of it.

“I know they (board) will do everything they possibly can, give me that support, to take the club forwards.”

Rodgers, who is still to confirm the make-up of his backroom staff, talked of his long-standing affiliation with the Bhoys and is determined to help write another positive chapter.

“I understand the values of this club, the expectation and pressures here,” he said.

“Here it is not just about winning, Celtic is brought up to win in a way of football, a style, an identity and that is hopefully something we can create here and make the supporters proud of their team.”

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