Brendan Rodgers led Celtic to victory at Ibrox on Sunday, and he did it with the majority of the squad he inherited.
There was a huge turnover at Celtic over the summer. Nine new players entered the building while at least three key first-team stars left the club.
For all of that change, only Gustaf Lagerbielke from Sunday’s starting line-up was signed since Rodgers returned to the club. Given the injury troubles we’ve had to contend with, that’s a bit of a surprise.
In the lead-up to the match, there was a real call for the Hoops boss to include one, two or all three of Luis Palma, Nat Phillips and Paulo Bernardo. The trio had only joined in the closing days of the window but it was felt that we needed a shot in the arm from somewhere.
Looking back, that may have been the easy choice for Rodgers. The more difficult, and ballsy, call was to trust in the players who were there. Phillips and Bernardo didn’t feature at all against Rangers. Palma was included on the bench, but that’s as close as he got to the action.
We were right down to the bare bones. Yet, we still had enough to beat our rivals away from home without needing to use any of our late signings. That’s a big statement right there.
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It all leads to this feeling of excitement about Celtic after the international break. We have Palma, Phillips and Bernardo to see for the first time as well as Marco Tilio. Cameron Carter-Vickers, Reo Hatate and Maik Nawrocki will also soon be back to further improve the starting line-up.
Belief will have soared amongst the squad that did the business at Ibrox. They didn’t need any help from end-of-window signings. They simply dug in, with no fans backing them, and got the best result.
We already can’t wait for the team to return after the break.