Plas­tic not per­fect for Celtic coach Rodgers

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

GLAS­GOW:

Celtic man­ager Bren­dan Rodgers ad­mits he’s not a fan of plas­tic pitches as the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons pre­pare to take on Hamilton. The run­away lead­ers play Hamilton on their FIFA-ap­proved syn­thetic sur­face to­day as they bid to main­tain their 14-point gap ahead of bit­ter ri­vals Rangers at the top of the Scot­tish Premier­ship. Rodgers, whose side de­feated Kil­marnock 1-0 on their ar­ti­fi­cial pitch ear­lier this sea­son, hopes to see his side ex­tend their 21-match un­beaten run in all com­pe­ti­tions in Scot­land this sea­son.

“It is al­ways dif­fi­cult. Any coach or man­ager will tell you, it is al­ways a dif­fer­ent game on a plas­tic pitch,” said Rodgers. “I have yet to see a good game on a plas­tic pitch but I have to re­spect that the con­di­tions for ev­ery club are dif­fer­ent. “Hamilton are a foot­ball club that has pro­duced many great young play­ers so they have a way of work­ing and that’s what works for them, which is ab­so­lutely fine-I re­spect that.”

The for­mer Liver­pool and Swansea boss says the sur­face will have a neg­a­tive im­pact on his side’s free-flow­ing style and said it made it hard for the play­ers to pro­duce an en­ter­tain­ing spec­ta­cle for the sup­port­ers. “In global foot­ball, most peo­ple will tell you that plas­tic pitches aren’t ideal, and that’s where you feel for sup­port­ers be­cause are they see­ing the best game of foot­ball pos­si­ble? “For us we have to turn up, be pro­fes­sional and look to get the job done. “I think it is about go­ing there and get­ting a re­sult. “Like I say, I have never seen a good game of foot­ball on a plas­tic pitch. “It brings lots of dif­fer­ent elements to the game. It brings un­pre­dictabil­ity to the game that you wouldn’t see in nor­mal cir­cum­stances.

Tough test

“I have seen a num­ber of games on plas­tic pitches and been in­volved in a num­ber of games on plas­tic pitches. I have yet to see a good one.” It is a quick re­match be­tween the two sides as Celtic came out 1-0 win­ners over Hamilton at Park­head a week ago. Rodgers, who will be with­out Aus­tralian in­ter­na­tional mid­fielder Tom Rogic due to an an­kle knock, said he ex­pected an equally tough test to­day.

“They were a tough team to break down the last time we played them and it is on an AstroTurf pitch, of course, which makes it even more dif­fi­cult,” said Rodgers. “So we will go ex­pect­ing an­other tough game but look­ing to con­tinue with our se­quence of good re­sults,” added the 43-year-old North­ern Ir­ish­man.

Mean­while, his Rangers coun­ter­part, Mark War­bur­ton, says he’s not look­ing to leave Rangers any time soon af­ter he was linked with the Eng­land Un­der-21 job va­cated by new Eng­land man­ager Gareth South­gate. War­bur­ton, who just a few weeks ago was com­ing un­der pres­sure from Rangers fans fol­low­ing a poor dis­play in a 2-0 de­feat to Hearts, is said to be being con­sid­ered for the role by the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion due to his previous ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in youth de­vel­op­ment. But the for­mer Brent­ford boss, whose side take on In­ver­ness Cale­do­nian This­tle on Satur­day look­ing for their fourth con­sec­u­tive win, says he hasn’t had any con­tact with the FA and claims he has un­fin­ished busi­ness with Rangers.— AFP

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