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  • Manager set for Friday night trip to Paisley for the Hoops

    Manager set for Friday night trip to Paisley for the Hoops

    By: Joe Sullivan on 14 Sep, 2018 10:31

  • BRENDAN Rodgers take a Celtic team to Paisley for the first time tonight as they take on Premiership newcomers, St Mirren in the Hoops’ first Friday night game of the season.

    When the fixtures were announced, the manager was set to face former Celt, Alan Stubbs in the opposing dugout, but a managerial change at the Buddies has opened the door for Brendan Rodgers’ fellow Irishman, Oran Kearney, to take up the reins in Paisley.

    The Hoops manager said: “Firstly, I’m really disappointed for Alan. I spoke to Alan here in the summer and when a manager loses his job this early in the season then, of course, you’re never overly happy to see someone lose their job. 

    “Alan will got get another job and show what a good coach and manager he is. For Oran, it’s an opportunity for him. I spoke to Oran in the summer when he was initially going for the job back then. I don’t know him personally but I know his work back in Northern Ireland.

     “When I spoke to him at length on the phone, he was a good guy who is very clear and ambitious on how he wants to work. So I look forward to seeing him at the game and wish him well - after our game, of course.”

    The new-manager scenario, more often than not, gives some impetus to the players who are determined to show their worth to the new man, especially in St Mirren’s case as they have played under three managers in recent months, with Alan Stubbs only taking over from the departing Jack Ross in the summer.

    Brendan Rodgers said: “I think it’s always difficult. St Mirren had done great with Jack the past few seasons – from where they were to getting promotion.

    “That first season back into the top flight is always going to be difficult and obviously there were a lot of changes there at the club player-wise. So it always takes that bit of time. Obviously it hasn’t worked out for Alan. Oran will come in and hope that he will give them that bounce that sometimes a new manager can bring, but time will tell."

    There could also be new faces in the Celtic pool for the game as the manager revealed that new signings, Filip Benkovic and Youssouf Mulumbu are in the running for the trip to Paisley tonight.

    He said: “They will come into the squad for the game. Filip had been away on international duty and has come back. He had been playing regularly before coming to here so that’s good for us.

    “Youssouf is obviously a little more behind in terms of games but he has looked great in training and looked fit and working his way through, so both players will certainly help our squad in this stretch of games between now and Christmas, and I’m sure they’ll feature.”

    Tonight’s game, kick-off 8pm, will be shown live on Celtic TV – full details HERE

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