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  • Manager: Bhoys deserve to be in the running for individual awards

    Manager: Bhoys deserve to be in the running for individual awards

    By: Mark Henderson on 21 Apr, 2018 09:01

  • BRENDAN Rodgers believes there are a number of strong candidates for Player of the Year in the Celtic side that’s on the verge of clinching seven-in-a-row. The Hoops will seal the title with four games to spare in the season if they can collect three points away to Hibernian in today’s lunchtime kick-off.

    And with the champions contesting the Scottish Cup final next month, that would them within one win of a double treble, an unprecedented feat in Scottish football.

    For the second successive season, the Bhoys also qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stages, with a third-place finish in their section sending them through to the UEFA Europa League knockout stages.  

    A number of Hoops players have impressed in delivering this sustained success, with the manager highlighting the contribution of captain Scott Brown and Celtic Youth Academy graduates, James Forrest and Callum McGregor.   

    “I think there are some very good players in the league, though I look at the number of players we have within our team who have not only been very consistent and top-class domestically, but have represented the league and Scotland at the highest level in Europe and been very good there," Brendan Rodgers said.

    “Scott Brown, I would assume, would be in the running. His technical and tactical ability in the games, and with the pressures he’s coped with domestically and in Europe, has been absolutely outstanding.

    “James Forrest has brought consistency this year to his game. To have scored 16 goals as a winger and have double figures in assists, he’s been absolutely outstanding. Some of our younger players have been very good as well.

    “Callum McGregor is getting the little bit of credit he deserves. Philipp Lahm was a great player at Bayern Munich who could play in full-back positions and in midfield, and Callum is that version for me here at Celtic.

    “Wherever he plays, he’s minimal seven out of ten. He has this incredible tactical ability to understand the game. Our fourth penalty last weekend comes from him tactically pressing the game at the right moment. When he sees the poor pass by the midfield player, he reads that situation, nicks it and then we’re away on the counter-attack, and his pass leads to the penalty.

    “He’s a player of real intelligence. He knows the whole pitch and that’s always the mark of the really gifted players for me. He knows the game at full-back or if I play him as a No.10, No.8 or wide. He’s an absolutely joy to work with and to see him grow, develop and produce in the big games is great to see, and there’s still a lot more to come from him.

    “Some of the other teams, domestically, the guys have done very well. But you look at James Forrest and he was the best player on the pitch against Bayern Munich, a team in the Champions League semi-final.

    “It’s never easy to pick them, and there will be a number of good players, but certainly the Celtic players have been outstanding.”

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