The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Harry is golden Bhoy among Celts coaches


Brendan Rodgers has hailed Harry Kewell for helping give Celtic the touch of gold dust they need to shine.

Four months into the Premiershi­p campaign, the Hoops manager has his side sitting top of the table eight points clear of the rest.

Even though second-placed Rangers have a game in hand, that is an advantage which has the bookmakers quoting them as short as 4/1 ON to retain the title.

It is a run that has brought plenty of individual plaudits for Rodgers, who only returned for his second stint as Celtic manager in the summer.

But the man himself, who was Premiershi­p Manager of the Month for September, reckons the club’s success is more of a team effort behind the scenes – and he is keen to spread the credit with his coaches.

Asked about Luis Palma’s move to thank Harry Kewell after scoring against Ross County in a recent game, Rodgers explained it was a moment where fans were given a clear indication of the unseen input made by the former Leeds, Liverpool and Australia star.

“An incredible amount of work goes on here from the coaching staff to help the players develop,” he said.

“We will identify areas they need to be better in. Harry will sit with the forward players, John (Kennedy) the defenders and Gavin (Strachan) the midfielder­s.

“In this case, Luis was probably referencin­g some pointers Harry gave him.

“Which is great because that’s why we are here – to train players, give them confidence and improve them.

“That is our job so it is good when they can reference people who are helping

them. I have been impressed with all the coaches.

“I didn’t know Gavin and Harry.

“I met Harry prior to taking the job and had a chat with him at my house down south.

“And I have to say, for a player who was world-class in his pomp, the commitment he has to being here at Celtic and helping all our wingers, he is very good.

“I think (former) players like him give you that bit of gold dust.

“He shares that with the players and he is good for our team and gives a different viewpoint.

“Gavin is an excellent coach, very diligent and has lovely human qualities. He is always there for the players.

“And, of course, John Kennedy is brilliant – and I saw that in my first spell

at the club. He is an outstandin­g coach and has an incredible thirst to continue learning and developing.

“He works as hard I ever seen anyone work in football.

“Beside all of that he is a good man. A very loyal man.

“There is also Jack Lyons. I brought in Jack as a young, talented coach who is analytical­ly brilliant.

“He can analyse and present that to players too. So, the team is very good and that’s why I didn’t just single out Harry! “The dynamics of it all make it work.” That said, everything has not been going so smoothly for one of his former assistants from his first spell.

Kolo Toure has been out of football since losing his job as Wigan manager early in the year.

“It was hard for him (at Wigan) because you go into your first job and you have to make that decision to go in despite people maybe telling you not to do it,” said Rodgers.

“Listen. I had that early on in my career when I lost my job before I had even really started my managerial career.

“I had a really good time at Watford, should have stayed but didn’t. Went to Reading and within 22 games I think it was, I lost my job.

“So, I was thinking ‘am I going to get another chance?’

“I knew I’d to be better next time because, for the first time in my life, I was unemployed.

“And I knew that it wasn’t now with developmen­t players.

“I was still developing them, but I had to sharpen my teeth. So, I knew that with the next job I went in to, I had to be good if I was going to survive.

“Thankfully Swansea City gave me that chance.

“Kolo is a good man he has got great experience, he has played, coached and been around enough.

“I really do hope that he gets another opportunit­y.”

 ?? ?? Harry Kewell is well thought of at Celtic and has had a major impact on the team – giving them a ‘touch of gold dust’.
Harry Kewell is well thought of at Celtic and has had a major impact on the team – giving them a ‘touch of gold dust’.
 ?? ?? Toure and Rodgers back in 2017.
Toure and Rodgers back in 2017.

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