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  • Manager: We're looking forward to special atmosphere in Dublin

    Manager: We're looking forward to special atmosphere in Dublin

    By: Newsroom Staff on 06 Jul, 2018 19:42

  • BRENDAN Rodgers and his Celtic team are looking forward to another wonderful reception when they face Shamrock Rovers tomorrow (Saturday) in Dublin for a game which will be hugely important in helping the players reach peak fitness.

    Celtic returned from an eight-day pre-season training camp in Austria on Tuesday, having won three of their four games, and they are now looking to continue their momentum when they meet Shamrock Rovers in the Tallaght Stadium tomorrow afternoon (KO: 3pm).

    The Hoops played the Irish side as part of their pre-season preparations last year for what turned out to be the historic Double Treble season, recording a 9-0 victory. And Brendan Rodgers is looking forward to the special atmosphere at the game.

    “We had a great time here last year in terms of how we were received when we came over here for the game and we’re really looking forward to that again,” he said.

    “We’re still building minutes and fitness at this stage. Tomorrow, it’ll be a team that will play 60 to 70 minutes of the game and then we’ll look to make some changes.

    “This is another step towards our match fitness. We have to work your players towards full fitness very, very quickly, especially when you have qualifiers. We had a really good week in Lennoxtown and followed that up with a great preparation week in Austria.”

    The first leg of Celtic’s UEFA  Champions League first round qualifier against Armenian champions Alashkert is now just four days away. And as well as building the squad’s fitness up, Brendan Rodgers said his team will have to plan carefully for how they will approach the game in Armenia, given the hot conditions.

    “At this stage of pre-season the players will never be 100 per cent,” he said. “I’ve been really impressed with how fit the players have come back. That’s what the toplevel modern players should be doing, coming back with a really high level of fitness. We’ll look to push that and extend that over the early part of the season.

    “As much as we can, we’ve had good preparation in terms of weather. Of course, it’s always difficult to play in extreme heat like that.

    “We just need to monitor the blocks of pressure in the game. It’s hard to press the game for 90 minutes so it’s just preparing the players physically as well as tactically in terms of how you can put a full pitch press on.

    “We’ve done as much preparation as we could. Our analysist was out and we have some footage on video so we’ll be as prepared as we possibly can be.”

    For more ticket information for Saturday's game, please visit the Shamrock Rovers site.

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