Monday 26 September 2016

'One of the biggest clubs in the world' - Brendan Rodgers insists Celtic is not a step down

Ronnie Esplin

Published 23/05/2016 | 17:58

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers poses after the press conference
New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers poses after the press conference

Brendan Rodgers insists he has not taken a step down in his career by becoming the new Celtic boss.

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The 43-year-old former Liverpool and Swansea manager met the media at Parkhead following confirmation of his appointment on a 12-month rolling contract last week.

The Northern Irishman made it clear early in his packed press conference of how he viewed his new post.

He said: "People would maybe talk about the level but Celtic is one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"And for me to come out of the Premier League and come here is certainly not a step down.

"This is one of the great clubs of the world, an institution so for me to come here is a huge honour and a privilege."

Rodgers quickly rebuffed the suggestion that he could be reunited with former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard, currently playing in the MLS with LA Galaxy, saying: "I think Stevie is enjoying his life in America. He's doing fine over there".

He added of his objectives: "For me the objective is pretty clear, to continue with the domination of Scottish football and also to make an impact in European football.

"The traditions of Celtic being the first team to win the European Cup is very important, there has been many great European nights here.

"So that opportunity to revive those fortunes, to get into the Champions League and obviously continue with Scottish football domination.

"First of all we have to look to be competing in the Champions League and you have to qualify and then the objective then is can you get out of the group stages and beyond.

"Of course it is difficult, with the money that is around but you look at Porto, Benfica, those sorts of team that are dominant in their own league and qualify into Champions League and can make a good first of it.

"I am fortunate that I am at a club where I have felt the support from the first conversation that I had with Peter (Lawwell, chief executive) so I know that they will do everything that they possibly can, Dermot (Desmond, major shareholder) also, they will give me very support and I felt a real togetherness with them."

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