Dem­bele, Boy­ata in frame for County

Evening Times - - SPORT - FROM BACK PAGE

ex­po­sure to first-team ac­tion giv­ing them the chance to work on their match fit­ness ahead of Celtic’s game in Brus­sels.

“They are go­ing to be fit for that,” con­firmed Rodgers. “Moussa will be in the squad for the game on Satur­day.

“Dedryck we will see in the next 24 hours. If he’s not, it could be Dundee. It will be great to have those two avail­able.”

Mean­while, Rodgers has main­tained that the be­lief of his squad will not be punc­tured by the har­row­ing ex­pe­ri­ence against Paris Saint-Ger­main on Tues­day evening.

While there is an in­evitable au­topsy process to go through on the back of such a re­sult, Rodgers has main­tained that he will pro­tect his play­ers from any crit­i­cism that may fil­ter through.

He said: “Maybe there is some back­ground noise, but that’s my job, to shape that men­tal­ity and take the lead with the play­ers.

“They were bright to­day and back on it. Games like that the other night are very hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ences against that level of team and that qual­ity.

“But you strive then to be the best you can and I think we’ve shown on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions that that’s the men­tal­ity we have. If it is to im­prove we know we have to keep get­ting bet­ter.”

Mean­while, Cal­lum McGre­gor has be­come the lat­est player to pledge his long-term fu­ture to Celtic.

The mid­fielder signed a new four-year deal with the club, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Scott Brown, Jozo Simunovic and Stu­art Arm­strong who have all signed ex­ten­sions re­cently. And Rodgers ex­pects that there are more to come.

“The club has been work­ing be­hind the scenes and that’s great,” he said.

“Cal­lum has been bril­liant for us. He loves be­ing at Celtic and he’s made a real con­tri­bu­tion in the last 12 months.

“In the semi-fi­nal against Rangers he showed great com­po­sure to score and he was fan­tas­tic in that game.

“Dedryck has a year or so to go and there are one or two oth­ers.

“It’s nice that so many play­ers see this as a place they can de­velop and be suc­cess­ful.

“It’s nice to have them all on board for the jour­ney.”

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