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  • Brendan Rodgers: More young Celts will get their chance

    Brendan Rodgers: More young Celts will get their chance

    By: Mark Henderson on 22 Dec, 2016 16:59

  • BRENDAN Rodgers expects more of the club’s younger players to make the step up to the first team over the remainder of the season after Calvin Miller made his competitive top-team bow in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.

    The 18-year-old started at left-back against the Jags and played just over an hour before being replaced by Emilio Izaguirre as the Hoops extended their unbeaten domestic run to 21 games.   

    And pleased by how the wide-man fared against some tough, physical opponents, the manager is determined to continue giving youth a chance.  

    “Between now and the end of the season, more young players will get opportunities, I am pretty certain of that,” he said.  

    “I wanted to see Calvin under a bit of pressure. We only have one recognised left-back at the moment in Emilio and he has been doing very well but, like all the other players, I have tried to give them a game where they can recover or rest physically and mentally and I felt that was a good game to put young Calvin in.

    “Partick have some really good players - the boy Amoo on the side is strong and fast. I like to test the young players. You can’t always bring them in and for it to be comfortable, you want to see how they react and how they can deal with a tough situation, and I felt the boy did very well.”

    Until recent weeks, Miller has always operated in an attacking role for the Development Squad so he made his debut in a position he is still learning about.

    But the Hoops boss is keen to cultivate this culture of versatility among the club’s young players, highlighting the example of Callum McGregor as someone who can perform to a high level in several roles.

    “It’s very important to have that versatility as that sort of multi-functioning player allows you to have a small squad as you have players who can cope in various positions,” he said.

    “Callum McGregor is an example of that. He’s an outstanding young player for the squad here. He doesn’t always get the credit for what his qualities are, but managers and coaches will always appreciate it.

    “Sometimes it’s the guys who make the heroic blocks and score the goals that get all the credit but he’s a young player who is very important to our squad. We have a number of those players. If you ask them to play at left-back, wide on the right or central midfield then they play the position without fuss. They don’t moan or groan and get on with doing what is best for the team.

    “As time goes on, I can see the importance of Callum within our squad. When he’s on the bench, he comes on and affects the games and players like Callum are very important, and he’s a boy I really like – low maintenance, lives his life well and a professional. He comes in every day and works very hard.” 

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