Brendan Rodgers yet again tackled some pressing subjects ahead of the St Mirren game on Wednesday night.
Fresh off of a convincing 3-0 dismissal of Airdrie in the Scottish Cup, confidence is being regained at Parkhead again.
Celtic certainly needed the break in Dubai after the Rangers defeat. It allowed the players to restart and come out flying for the second-half of the campaign.
But that didn’t stop Rodgers from having to tackle several worrying issues around the club at the moment. Here, we take a look at the main three talking points:
A few injury concerns
All of a sudden, Rodgers has a few injury worries on his hands. Despite the return of Nir Bitton against Airdrie, Celtic could go into the St Mirren clash missing as many as NINE players.
Of course, the likes of Tom Rogic and Vakoun Issouf Bayo can’t be helped. But more worryingly is the news that Anthony Ralston could miss the St Mirren game. Despite Edouard being back in training, it’s unlikely he starts against the Buddies either.
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Olivier Ntcham and Kieran Tierney join them.
Rodgers opened up on the full extent of how some of his stars are coping:
Fortunately, Celtic’s relatively eye-pleasing schedule should see the current starting XI as being enough to deal with the upcoming opposition.
Still, the sooner the Hoops can welcome the likes of Tierney and Ntcham back, the better. Ralston, also, needs to keep himself fit given the fact he’s seemingly the number one right-back at the moment.
Some clarity on the patchy pitch
If you watched the Airdrie game you would’ve noticed it – the Parkhead turf looked like an absolute joke.
It’s cutting up in a host of areas, and after paying £1.5million to get the new hybrid surface installed, the end result hasn’t been good enough.
Celtic’s form at home has been sensational domestically of course. The Hoops have won all games at Paradise this season, but the pitch certainly looks poor these days.
Fortunately, Rodgers has noticed it as well. And even more fortunate is the fact that he knows exactly what’s happening to it:
We have no idea what a disease in the surface precisely means. Hopefully, however, this is something that can be sorted between now and the coming weeks at the latest.
With a minimum of 11 games left at Celtic Park, a quick solution is imperative. Let’s see how the ground staff deal with the issue in the coming days.
Eerie transfer words from Rodgers
One notable concern from the press conference today was how Rodgers described the transfer window. That’s because it was eerily similar to what he said last year too.
The Northern Irishman said 12 months ago how Celtic only sign a player that has quality. It had to be the right kind of player. Then we saw Marvin Compper and Jack Hendry walk in the door.
Here is what the manager had to say regarding the conclusion of the window this year:
Interestingly, there’s no guarantee from Rodgers here that work will be done this month. Despite being linked with Fernando Fonseca of Porto and Dominic Iorfa of Wolves, the Hoops manager isn’t confirming anything.
Not upgrading on the right-back area this January would be a disaster. Supporters want to hear what’s happening with regards to that, and not the same rhetoric we heard 12 months ago only to be disappointed.
It’ll be intriguing to see what happens over the next 10 days of the window. But here’s hoping the Hoops can make it productive.