Sport Soccer

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Rodgers insists pitch and fans will be fine

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Photo: Getty Images
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Photo: Getty Images

Ronnie Esplin

Boss Brendan Rodgers insists both Celtic Park and his players are ready for the Scottish Cup quarter-final tie against Morton this afternoon as the Championship club expressed safety concerns about the tie.

As snow and ice gripped the country, the Premiership leaders' home game against Dundee on Wednesday night was called off, with the fixture now taking place on April 4.

The Hoops players were given individual training programmes for Thursday before they met up and trained on the snow-free Parkhead pitch yesterday.

While Morton chief executive Warren Hawke implored the Scottish Football Association to make spectator safety of paramount importance when making their decision on whether to give the game the green light, Rodgers insists his players are prepared and Celtic Park and its environs are "safe and secure."

The Northern Irishman said: "With the game called off on Wednesday, it was virtually impossible for us to train yesterday.

"But today we trained well and we are ready for the game. The pitch is fine, it is playable for the game and there has been lot of work gone on around the stadium to make it safe and secure for the supporters.

"We have played a lot of games so we have had a bit of a breather for a few days and it won't do us any harm.

"As I say we have played so many games, we are not going to lose football fitness that's for sure. The boys will be ready.

"The pitch is playable and the ground staff have done a great amount of work here to make sure the game will go ahead."

Rodgers made the journey to Cappielow on Tuesday night to see Jim Duffy's side lose 1-0 to Livingston in a Ladbrokes Championship fixture.

The former Swansea and Liverpool boss said: "Certainly what they have is a very experienced coach in Jim Duffy, who sets them up very well.

"He has done a brilliant job in the last few years. We will look from the first whistle to impose our style and aggression on the game. But it will be a very difficult game for us."

Celtic remain on track for back-to-back domestic trebles but Rodgers, in time-honoured fashion, is reluctant to look much further than Saturday.

He said: "It is the old cliche. We have always looked to the next game and Morton will provide a big test for us. But we are getting to the end of the season, which we relish, the games that really matter. There are 10 games to go in the league and we are really excited about that. We have coped with that pressure really well and we will look forward to every game now."

  • Celtic v Morton, live, Sky Sports, 12.30

Irish Independent

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