Brendan Rodgers Set To Silence Critics Once Again

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Brendan Rodgers has faced stinging criticism at various points this season with his Celtic side failing to reach the heights of last year.

In recent months however there have been more than a few positive signs that the Irishman is back on the right track.

Starting with an impressive second-half display against Motherwell in February, and with the exception of a VAR inspired defeat at Tynecastle, things have finally begun to click into place as he looks to make his return to Scottish Football a winning one.

With Callum McGregor and Luis Palma set to return this weekend against Rangers having both missed the whole of March through injury, it appears that Rodgers finally has a fully fit squad to choose from for the first time this campaign.

Most importantly, he finally has the option to play his strongest 11, just in time for one of the biggest fixtures in the run-in.

The Irishman has remained calm throughout the season despite pressure from certain quarters of the media and has proven himself time and time again in Scotland with an incredible 12 wins from 15 games against Rangers.

Some would have you believe that Sunday’s Glasgow derby is already a foregone conclusion, with Rangers fans of the belief that they have now nudged ahead of Celtic, despite the Hoops currently sitting atop of the Scottish Premiership, albeit having played an extra game.

But with Rodgers at the helm, Celtic have a manager who has already been written off twice this season against his Glasgow rivals: first as his side travelled to Ibrox with no Celtic fans in September, and again in December when Phillipe Clement’s Rangers arrived in the East End looking to extend their unbeaten record.

On both occasions the Irishman silenced the doubters by taking all three points.

Kyogo's Goal Gave Celtic Victory At Ibrox Back in September
Kyogo’s Goal Gave Celtic Victory At Ibrox Back in September

Rodgers’ aura on the touchline is arguably every bit as important as what his players provide on the pitch.

Many forget that he’s the man who made Rangers adjust their away allocation due to the frequent outstanding displays his Celtic side put on during his first spell in charge – most notably an Odsonne Edouard inspired 3-2 win at Ibrox back in March 2018.

That’s not to say that Sunday’s game will be easy; on the contrary, its arguably one of the toughest challenges Rodgers will face in this second spell in the managerial hot-seat.

However the Irishman is clearly a man who thrives on pressure and will be determined to show that he and his side remain the dominant force in Scottish Football.

With seven league games remaining and with the possibility of a Scottish Cup Final to follow in May, Rodgers could very possibly mastermind a memorable league and cup double over the next seven weeks or so.

An achievement that would fly in the face of that early season criticism.

Don’t miss the latest episode of The Celtic Exchange Weekly // Celtic’s Big Hitters Are Back As The Bhoys Eye Up Another Win At Ibrox

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