Latest comments from Celtic star suggest Kennedy return to Rodgers-era tactical philosophy

By John McGinley

February 28, 2021

Scott Bain has signalled a return to the tactical philosophy of the Brendan Rodgers era at Celtic, in his post-Aberdeen comments this weekend.

The goalkeeper made a couple of strong saves to deny Aberdeen a goal yesterday. He continues between the posts while the mystery surrounding Vasilis Barkas rumbles on.

After the match, he gave his thoughts on the 90 minutes and the changes from recent games under the management of Neil Lennon.

The goalkeeper sounds buoyed by a change in approach and a renewed focus on retaining possession in both halves.

Speaking to The Scottish Mail on Sunday (28/02 print edition, page 155), Bain said: “I think we tried to play a little bit differently.

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“We played out from the back a lot more and we wanted to try and show how good a team we are and how comfortable we are on the ball.

“There are obviously things we need to work on because it’s been a long time since we’ve played like that. It’s just a case of getting more comfortable as the games come.

“We’re more than capable of playing the way the new gaffer wants us to and playing from the back and finding the right pass is one of my strengths.

“I was a little bit rusty in that area today, mind you, but I think it’s going to come and will click as the games come.”

Change in Celtic intent, but not execution

Clearly, Kennedy has tasked the Celtic team with getting back to the kind of less direct and more creative football that defined Rodgers’ spell as manager.

When Lennon came into the club he openly spoke about wanting the team to be more direct and ruthless in the final third.

However, in recent games, that seemed to translate into shots from distance and poor early crosses rather than any real incisive end product.

Interim Celtic boss John Kennedy / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There were notably fewer long shots against Aberdeen yesterday. There was far more patience in and around the box to create opportunities, almost to a fault at points.

As Bain notes, the execution wasn’t quite there to string together a cohesive performance for 90 minutes. The first half was positive but the team faded after the interval.

Hopefully though this bodes well for a more attractive style of football between now and the end of the season.

In other news, Celtic supporters have been impressed by John Kennedy’s recent interviews.