Bren­dan warns Celts about ‘big spend­ing’ Rangers

Celtic boss warns against any Old Firm com­pla­cency

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - Front Page - By Danny Ste­wart sport@sun­day­post.com

BREN­DAN RODGERS be­lieves Rangers made a huge state­ment of in­tent by out­spend­ing Celtic in the sum­mer.

The Hoops boss claims the in­vest­ment re­veals a de­ter­mi­na­tion to wrest their ri­vals Premier­ship crown away.

And, in the process, bring to a halt a win­ning streak that cur­rently stands at six ti­tles-in-a-row.

Rodgers spoke out ahead of Satur­day’s Old Firm derby at Ibrox.

“They have clearly spent money in the sum­mer. They spent more money than us – and we are a Cham­pi­ons League club.

“So that tells you that their idea is to win the league. It’s not to fin­ish third. Not to fin­ish se­cond above Aberdeen. It is to win the league.”

BREN­DAN RODGERS will warn his Celtic play­ers not to take Rangers lightly in Satur­day’s Old Firm clash.

The Hoops won five of the six der­bies last sea­son across league and cup, in­clud­ing a his­toric vic­tory at Ibrox, venue for the week­end’s re­newal, where they hit five goals for the first time ever.

It took Graeme Murty, then the Light Blues in­terim boss, to pre­vent a 100% record when lead­ing the Gers to a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park in March.

How­ever, as Rodgers points out, much has changed with the sum­mer bring­ing a flurry of new ar­rivals to Ibrox.

“I’ve seen a lit­tle bit of them,” said the Celtic man­ager.

“Pe­dro ob­vi­ously came in dur­ing the sea­son and was able to as­sess and look at dif­fer­ent meth­ods in which they can try to work and play.

“They have clearly spent money in the sum­mer.

“They spent more money than us – and we are a Cham­pi­ons League club.

“So that tells you that their idea is to win the league. It’s not to fin­ish third. Not to fin­ish se­cond above Aberdeen. It is to win the league.

“They have come into the sea­son with that men­tal­ity. They have signed some good play­ers and are play­ing a ba­sic shape in terms of 4-4-2, noth­ing com­pli­cated, get the ball wide and get crosses into the box.

“I’m sure they will be rea­son­ably happy with how they have started.”

That re­spect doesn’t stop the North­ern Ir­ish­man from hop­ing he will be able to look up, as he did in the 5-1 win, and once again be treated to the sight of Ibrox’s stands emp­ty­ing de­spite plenty of time re­main­ing.

“When you see that for ev­ery man­ager and player, it is feel­ing that you are work­ing well. You are do­ing your job if the game is over by 65, 70 min­utes.

“In a 90-minute game you can take huge credit for how you are play­ing at that stage. I re­mem­ber back when I was with Liver­pool, it was sim­i­lar when we beat New­cas­tle away 6-0.

“We were 4-0 up af­ter an hour, scored our fifth and then the sixth in the next few min­utes.

“It’s a big sta­dium at New­cas­tle, so to see that hap­pen you’re think­ing: ‘OK, we’ve prob­a­bly won the game’.

“If you are go­ing to Ibrox, and do­ing that against one of the great ri­vals, and per­form­ing at that level, which was key for me, was pretty spe­cial.

“You know the sig­nif­i­cance of the game and the in­ten­sity and feel­ing around them is great.

“And then, of course, if you can go and per­form and win then it’s spe­cial.”

Celtic aim to be cel­e­brat­ing at Ibrox on Satur­day, but Bren­dan Rodgers has warned his play­ers to take noth­ing for granted.

Mikael Lustig and Scott Brown cel­e­brate at an emp­ty­ing Ibrox back in April.

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