Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hailed a “monumental” victory as his team ran out 3-0 winners away to Livingston with 10 men.

A Reo Hatate penalty had the visitors ahead before Joe Hart was shown the first red card of his career for fouling Mo Sangare.

The setback, though, did not affect Celtic and second-half goals from Matt O’Riley and Daizen Maeda sealed a professional win.

Rodgers said: “It was a monumental win in terms of getting back in after playing with nine men during the week [in the Champions League against Feyenoord].

“Livingston is a notoriously hard place to come anyway, never mind with 10 men, so to play with that mentality was very good.

“Attitude and energy are what you need and that is what we had. You don’t get points here for style. You have to dig in and be resilient.

“I thought we played well on a difficult surface and stylistically I thought we played better on the surface with 10 men.

“We always have a plan for that in terms of how we work, how we keep the calmness. I thought the players were outstanding.

“We added to that with two really good goals in the second half. As I said to the guys, when you have Daizen Maeda, it is not like playing with 10 men.

“He does the running of two men, he is absolutely incredible and I was so happy for him that he got his goal. He was so good on the day for us.”

Livingston manager David Martindale felt his team had played better when Celtic had their full complement on the pitch and expressed his frustration at losing a second goal so early into the second half.

He said: “In all honesty, we were probably better 11 v 11. Then the second goal comes after only two minutes in the second half.

“And then momentum goes back in Celtic’s favour. In the second half after that second goal, I think Celtic were worth their money. I thought they worked a lot harder than us all over the park.

“Their application, their endeavour and their desire were probably a lot better than what we showed against 10 men. Sitting here, I’m hugely frustrated at the result, but I don’t think we deserved more from the game in all honesty.”

Brendan Rodgers felt his Celtic team showed they can compete at Champions League level before inexperience played its part in their Group E opener against Feyenoord running away from them following two red cards inside five minutes.

Both Gustaf Lagerbielke and substitute Odin Thiago Holm were sent off on their Champions League debuts with Celtic trailing to Calvin Stengs’ 30-yard free-kick in first-half stoppage-time.

Joe Hart saved a penalty in between the red cards before Feyenoord went on to win 2-0 in Rotterdam.

Rodgers said: “We showed in the game that for this tournament we are going to be competitive.

“We started really, really well, for the first 60 minutes the game was very close. I thought we looked a threat and progressed the ball well into the final third. Maybe with better decision-making and releasing the pass we would have given ourselves the opportunity to get in front.

“I’m disappointed with the first goal, we should never be conceding that, especially at that moment.

“But it was even for 60 minutes and unfortunately we got two players sent off. It’s really difficult at this level with 11 against 11, but with 11 v nine, it’s difficult.

“But I have to applaud the players for their spirit and mentality, they kept going. It was harsh on them.”

Hart was left exposed by his wall for the opener, with Kyogo Furuhashi inadvertently jumping out of the way of the ball, and the curl on the shot took the ball away from the goalkeeper after it bounced on the wet turf, although he got a hand to it.

Rodgers said: “We talked about it inside. I like the players to make decisions and there was a decision within the game to change the wall. But you have to make sure the wall is correct or else you get done.

“It’s a very, very small detail but if you don’t look after it, you end up beaten. It was bitterly disappointing because we played well up to then.”

Rodgers felt both red cards should have been avoided. Lagerbielke received a second yellow after catching Igor Paixao in the throat with his arm as he tried to jockey the forward. Holm was shown a straight red card for lunging in to a high tackle.

Rodgers said: “With Gustaf, there was no drama. The ball was running through to the goalkeeper. I think it’s inexperience, just let the ball run through. I still thought it was a bit harsh but I can maybe see why the referee gave it. But we can avoid that situation for sure.

“The second one, he is young and committed but at this level you can’t go to ground. When I saw it back, his foot is up. At this level you get punished for that.

“Obviously they are bitterly disappointed afterwards, their first experiences of games at this level. They will learn from it.

“Gustaf had done well up to that point, two inexperienced centre-backs – I thought Liam Scales was outstanding and Gustaf had been coping well.”

Brendan Rodgers knows it will be up to Celtic to find solutions if Dundee turn up at Parkhead on Saturday in a dour and defensive mood.

The Hoops go into the cinch Premiership game buoyed by the 1-0 win over Rangers at Ibrox thanks to a Kyogo Furuhashi goal before the international break, but in the previous home game, they could not break down a rigid St Johnstone rearguard with the game ending goalless.

The likelihood is that newly-promoted Dundee, managed by Tony Docherty, will also look to keep things tight in the east end of Glasgow and will be confident after losing just one of their first four league games.

However, that will come as no surprise to Rodgers, who revealed on Thursday that he has lost the services of winger Liel Abada for three to four months with a thigh injury picked up in training with Israel.

The Hoops boss said: “It’s up to us to find the solutions. In the St Johnstone game we could have scored four or five goals but didn’t, their keeper had a great day and we just didn’t put away our chances. I expect Tony’s team to be well organised.

“I’ve seen the games and they’ve been unfortunate as well in some of those not to have got better results.

“It’ll be a tough game for us. And that’s what you expect. You have to focus really on yourselves, do your work and work well, and hopefully we can get the three points.”

Rodgers believes the well-deserved win at Ibrox in front of a home fans-only crowd – Celtic rejected 700 tickets on security grounds – will have done his players the world of good.

“In the game against Rangers, the guys were so brave,” the Northern Irishman said.

“Ibrox is a tough place for any player to go and play, but as a Celtic player, the hostility, everything that surrounds the game… but I thought game plan was great on the day in terms of keeping the crowd quiet, especially early on.

“So we played football in the first half that allowed us to dominate the ball and have good chances in the game.

“And in the second half, like in any game against any team, especially away from home, you have to show resilience and the players were absolutely superb in that aspect.

“So overall, a real galvanising performance and result for us and, of course, that makes the supporters happy, which is what it’s about.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has criticised the “morality officers” who have rounded on Jordan Henderson following his move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ettifaq.

The former Liverpool captain, as a long-time supporter of the LGBT+ community, has drawn widespread condemnation for his decision to move to a country where homosexuality is illegal.

However, Rodgers – who managed Henderson during his three years at Anfield – defended a player’s decision to choose where they ply their trade.

“It’s their profession, it’s their life so they have to do what’s best for them,” Rodgers told talkSPORT. “There are so many morality officers around the world nowadays that are judging people.

“But Jordan I know extremely well and I know the love he had and will always have for Liverpool.

“He was at the stage of his career where he probably wasn’t going to be the first name on the teamsheet any more.

“At 32 years of age, he’s won absolutely everything. He probably fancied a different challenge and out of respect, it probably didn’t feel right for him being at another Premier League club.

“So to go abroad and take on a new challenge clearly suited him.”

In his interview with The Athletic, Henderson stressed money was not a motivating factor for him and denied reports he was earning £700,000-a-week.

But the wealth of the Saudi Pro League, particularly Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad, and Al-Ahli who are backed by the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has undoubtedly had a massive impact on this summer’s transfer window and will on windows to come.

“It’s definitely something that makes players wobble because of the money that’s talked about and what it can do for players and the legacy it can create for their families for years down the line,” Rodgers added.

“What makes (Saudi Arabia) dangerous is not only the money, they have a plan. The plan is attracting top players and looking to get top managers out there.”

Brendan Rodgers spoke about being under intense media pressure going into Celtic’s impressive 1-0 cinch Premiership win over Rangers at Ibrox.

The Hoops went into the game on the back of a loss to Kilmarnock in the Viaplay Cup and a home draw to St Johnstone and with some key players missing, but Kyogo Furuhashi’s late first-half strike stretched their lead over Rangers to four points after four games.

After the game, Rodgers said: “I understand I have been placed on death watch by the media.

“But whatever the result today I’m an experienced manager now and I’m staying calm.

“But that’s where you are powerless as a coach.

“For me I understand what we have, I understand what we are missing.

“Until we get the level of player back that will make a difference in some of our games we have to keep working and developing and improving and I have absolutely no doubt we will do that as the season grows.

“But listen, it’s three wins and a draw in the league and some of the games have been good, but we are still piecing together a team which will look a lot more like it by the end of the season.”

Rangers were aggrieved at a VAR decision that went against them in the first half.

Celtic defender Gustaf Lagerbielke was challenged by Cyriel Dessers just inside the Hoops half and the Gers attacker raced clear and squared the ball for Kemar Roofe, who took a touch before firing past Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart.

When referee Don Robertson checked the pitchside monitor at the behest of the VAR, he ruled the goal out for a foul on the Hoops defender, albeit it looked soft.

Rodgers said: “Listen, there is enough people looking at it now. As I said to Gus at half-time, ‘you’ve got to learn your lesson there’.

“You’ve got to get the passing going quicker and he maybe needs another angle there quicker. But in saying that, as he turns around, he gets a nick.

“If you are Michael (Beale) and Rangers supporters you are maybe aggrieved. But at that point of the game we were dominating.

“So if we had conceded then I wouldn’t have been so happy.

“But they had a good look at it for long enough, so we accept the decision.”

Amid an ongoing ticket spat between the clubs there were no travelling supporters – Celtic rejected the offer of around 700 tickets, citing safety concerns – which irked Rodgers.

He said: “It’s not the same game. It’s not the same game and it’s such a shame.

“Look, it’s brilliant for us. Our resilience and everything we had to show as Celtic players was there today. As a group we had to withstand a lot, but it’s not the same game.

“When there is not a single supporter there for you then you know you have to be a man. And for this group of players to come and do that and get the victory was absolutely brilliant.

“Listen, I hope between the two clubs we can do that at some point.

“It’s obviously going to be a challenge this year, so it’s another year. But it’s not the same games.

“If you asked Rangers supporters, I’m pretty sure some of their best wins they have seen from their team were away at the other ground.

“Hopefully we will get back to that. Whether it’s 7,000 or 8,000 or whatever, it’s an iconic game, an amazing game.

“And a big part of it is the supporters. So hopefully in time we can get that back.

“But for us today to come here with no supporters and win…hopefully wherever they are, Celtic supporters across the world will be proud of their team.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed Liel Abada’s contract extension after receiving “significant interest” in the Israel winger from elsewhere.

Abada has signed a new four-year deal after netting 29 goals in 105 appearances and winning five major trophies since joining the Hoops from Maccabi Petah Tikva in July 2021.

Rodgers told Celtic’s website he was delighted with the news, which follows extended deals for Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi earlier this summer.

“We know there was significant interest in Liel from other clubs so we’re delighted that he has committed his future to Celtic,” Rodgers said.

“Already he has made a great contribution to Celtic, delivering some great performances and making a real impact. His energy and ability are real assets to us and his delivery in terms of goals and assists from wide areas has been excellent.

“He is a fantastic young player and now we hope he can build on what he has achieved so far and develop even further.”

Abada added: “Every time I score for this club is really amazing. To score in Celtic Park is always special and the atmosphere is amazing.

“Hopefully I can show more this season for everyone and I will try and get better for the team.”

Rodgers has been keen to keep the core of his team together towards the end of the transfer window and earlier insisted Matt O’Riley was going nowhere after a reported £10million offer from Leeds.

Rodgers said at a media conference: “When you have good players, there’s always going to be interest but definitely Matt is a player that I want to have here and part of what I’m doing.

“I have been really impressed with him. We look forward to continuing working with him.

“We are trying to put strength into the squad rather than deplete it.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has no doubts about his formula for success as he looks to put some teething problems behind him ahead of their first meeting of the season with Rangers.

The treble-winners go to Ibrox on Sunday on the back of a Viaplay Cup defeat by Kilmarnock and goalless home draw with St Johnstone.

It was the first time Celtic have failed to score in consecutive domestic games since May 2018, when they did so immediately after clinching the title for a second time under Rodgers.

Attacker Daizen Maeda last week admitted he was taking time to adjust to a new style of player after previous manager Ange Postecoglou’s tactics were instilled in him.


Celtic’s Daizen Maeda during a training session at Lennoxtown )Andrew Milligan/PA)


Although Celtic embarked on a 69-game unbeaten run before Rodgers suffered the first defeat of his first reign, he feels the adjustment might take some time. But he is adamant his project will come good.

“I think it will do (take some time),” he said. “Listen, I’m not here to jeopardise the strategy of the team or lock the team and myself into anything that would fail or not work. It’s just time. It’s just time.

“I don’t really want to go on about injuries but there’s injuries to key players that can really make the system function.

“But I have absolutely no doubt… I know how to win. I know what it takes to win, and I will show the players how to win.

“It might not be in the first game of the season but over the course of the season and over the course of my time here I believe we will do that.

“But there’s just little details of what will improve with the players as we work forward.

“But my teams have always been based, and my body of work hopefully shows that, my teams have always been aggressive, on the front foot, attacking, creative and fast, powerful. And this team will be that over time as well.

“But in the meantime we need to continue to get results and look to improve.”

Rodgers feels the rivalry and pressure of Sunday’s occasion – in front of 50,000 home fans only – will ensure his side are up to speed.

“It’s an iconic game, a fantastic game to be involved in,” he said. “You certainly don’t need to motivate the players.

“Our opening three (league) games, we have won two and drawn one.

“More for me it’s the performance level. But when I analyse the game last weekend, we could have won the game four or five nil, if we get the early goal. The keeper makes a great save.

“But the performance level, I look at the speed of the game and the position of the game, it needs to improve, but I analyse the game and the fix of the things that we need to improve on, I have seen already over the course of the week. So I think we are only going to get better.

“You certainly don’t win a league in August. But it’s something we will improve on for sure.”

Brendan Rodgers is not surprised by Kilmarnock’s flying start to the season as he prepares to renew rivalries with the manager who posed him the biggest challenge during his first spell as Celtic manager.

Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has had the chance to reshape his squad ahead of his second full season in charge at Rugby Park.

McInnes’ Aberdeen side finished as runners-up to Celtic in both of their title-winning campaigns under Rodgers during his first spell in charge, and in three of the five cup finals he won.

Rodgers was therefore not fazed as Killie started their cinch Premiership term with a win over Rangers and a draw at Hearts.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” he said. “Obviously he did a fantastic job at Aberdeen and when I was up here first time they were always very competitive, always very tough games.

“He got promoted with Kilmarnock and now he is looking to establish them in the top division, and after that first season he is putting his own stamp on it. He has been able to refresh the squad, get the profile of players that he wants in.

“I watched the game against Rangers and they did very well. Derek’s teams are always very well organised, some of the most competitive in the country, and he is a very experienced and excellent manager. So I anticipate a tough game for sure.

“They are very difficult to play against, that mixture of man-to-man and zonal and they defended deep.

“The surface always plays a part but we can’t have any excuse going into the game.

“We are in the competition to try and win it and if you are going to do that, you have to beat good teams and overcome difficult opponents.”

A 3-0 Hampden win over the Dons in the League Cup final in November 2016 marked Rodgers’ first major trophy of his managerial career and he hopes to follow that success to kick-start his second spell in Glasgow.

“I enjoyed that side of it when I was here last time, there is something to play for early on which is great,” he said.

“So having that opportunity to get to a final early on in the season is very good.

“We have to work hard to get there, you have to earn the right.”

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley aims to become more prolific in front of goal this season.

The 22-year-old Denmark international feels he should have notched more than four last term, but he has already found his scoring touch this time round by netting in both of his team’s league matches so far.

“I haven’t set myself any targets in terms of numbers,” said O’Riley. “Last season I kind of did but at the same time I’m quite young so some of it is trial and error.

“I feel better when I’m coming from a place where I can express myself from quite a free standpoint rather than setting a target and having to go for that because if you’re not getting close to it, you might get a bit of stress over it and lose a bit of calmness and composure.

“I haven’t set myself any targets but do think I can get myself more goals? I’d like to think so. Last season I should have got more goals, I need to be calmer when I’m in those areas.”

O’Riley has made a bright start to the campaign and is enjoying working under new manager Brendan Rodgers.

“I don’t think anything has changed massively, to be honest,” he said. “Maybe I feel better from a mental perspective, which always helps. I’m feeling really good in general.

“We’ve got a slightly new style and my role has changed slightly, but nothing too crazy, I’ve just got myself into the right positions and stayed calm and that’s what it has come down to.

“The manager’s style of management has been good. If there is something that I need to work on or that needs to be addressed then he will pick me up on it and we’ll go through it, especially on the training pitch.

“The other day he pulled me in and went through some little details that can help me. I think he’s good with most players in dealing with them from a personal perspective. Naturally that is going to help on the pitch because you will feel slightly better.

“I think I have been fortunate to have had pretty good managers thus far and feel like I am developing every season.”

Celtic turn their attention to the Viaplay Cup this weekend as they kick off their defence of the trophy away to Kilmarnock, who have started their cinch Premiership campaign impressively by taking four points out of a possible six from matches against Rangers and Hearts.

“It’s definitely a tough draw,” said O’Riley. “Respectfully, if the game is at home it’s probably easier than playing away because it is a tough place to go and we know that from past experiences.

“Other teams have also found it hard there. We have enough to win the game but it’s going to be one we have to be more than ready for.

“We always expect a tough test at Rugby Park and we need to be as prepared as we can be. Last season when we won 5-0 there we took our chances really well and that will be really important again.

“If you score the first goal at a place like that, it helps a lot but at the same time if they score first then I think we have enough in our toolbox to still win the game.”

Brendan Rodgers told Stephen Welsh he sees the defender’s future at Celtic Park after he came in from the cold to help the champions see off a spirited Aberdeen in a 3-1 victory at Pittodrie.

Welsh replaced the injured Cameron Carter-Vickers at half-time with Celtic 2-1 ahead following an exciting opening period.

It was the centre-back’s first appearance for 10 months and he strolled through the 45 minutes with Aberdeen unable to carve out many clear-cut chances despite some decent spells of possession.

Rodgers is hoping to secure a new centre-back in the coming days after Celtic made a move for Elfsborg’s Gustaf Lagerbielke.

But he sees Welsh as a key part of his squad following the departure of Carl Starfelt to Celta Vigo.

“I thought he was excellent when he came in,” Rodgers said. “I like Stephen. I took him with me one pre-season when he was a young player because I really liked him.

“For whatever reason he hasn’t maybe played the games but he’s a Celtic boy who wants to be at the club. I want him to be at the club.

“I said to him, ‘I can’t guarantee you how many games you are going to play. You may play 40 games in the season’.

“But I know he is always ready. He trains very hard every day and he came into the game, he played with composure, and he is aggressive. It was really well done from him.”

Celtic also lost half-time substitute Reo Hatate to injury.

Rodgers said: “Cam just felt his hamstring towards the end of the half so hopefully that will not be too bad. And Reo just felt something in his calf. It’s better for precaution sake to get them off and we will see in the next couple of days how they are.”

Odin Thiago Holm replaced Hatate in the 70th minute before Yang Hyin-jun came off the bench to set up Matt O’Riley’s clincher in the 84th minute.

On the Norwegian midfielder, Rodgers said: “He is a good player, he is going to really show his talent as he goes through his time at Celtic. He is a fantastic footballer. He has got an edge, he can see a pass, can move well.

“And Yang came into the game and sets up the third goal with a great bit of skill. So I am really pleased for all the boys who came into the game and contributed.”

Aberdeen gave as good as they got in the first half but Nicky Devlin’s short headed back pass allowed Kyogo Furuhashi to fire Celtic back in front after Bojan Miovski had cancelled out Liel Abada’s early opener.

Rodgers said: “Overall it was a very good win, some spells of good football and in those moments of adversity we stayed strong. It will be great for the spirit because we had to come through tough moments.”

Celtic have won 13 times at Pittodrie since last losing an away game against the Dons in February 2016 but Aberdeen boss Barry Robson felt his team’s performance was a forward step.

“We were really brave,” he said. “We tried to go after them and we made the game a bit basketball at times and sometimes it was survival of the fittest out there.

“It was entertaining stuff and it was dangerous at times from us but we wanted to have a go and try and win the game.

“It was probably our own doing with a couple of individual errors that cost us in the end but also the quality of the opposition.

“We tried to play in a way that is aggressive and brings speed to the game and I think we did that.

“I think that’s as good a performance you have seen from an Aberdeen team here against Celtic for a lot of years.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was delighted with the all-round game of Kyogo Furuhashi in their opening league win after encouraging the forward to bring a new tactical element to his game.

The Japan striker hit his first goal of the season in a 4-2 cinch Premiership victory against Ross County in typical fashion, stretching the visiting defence before sweeping home Liel Abada’s low cross first time after Celtic caught their opponents out.

Furuhashi hit 34 goals for Celtic last season and was usually found playing on the shoulder of the last defender and often beyond the opposition defence in an offside position.

But Rodgers has asked him to drop deeper at times and the move paid off on several occasions against County.

Furuhashi played a one-two with Matt O’Riley on the edge of the box before the midfielder got to the byline and crossed for David Turnbull to hit his second goal of the game.

The 28-year-old dropped off to set up O’Riley to score and also played Turnbull through before the former Motherwell man forced a double stop from Ross Laidlaw.

Rodgers said: “I just think it’s development of his game. He is clearly a player on the last line, his movement is fantastic, he gets across the first post really well.

“But it’s finding different solutions for the team, so the opposition have something different to think about.

“We have great speed in the wide areas; it’s always about getting the numbers inside, so when he drops short he can link the game really well and then still has the speed to get beyond. I thought he was excellent.”

There was plenty of encouragement for County manager Malky Mackay with his side creating several early chances and then refusing to capitulate after going three down before the interval.

Jordan White and James Brown were on target in the second half and Mackay was particularly happy with the latter’s debut performance.

“I thought Jim Brown, my right-back, was sensational,” Mackay said.

“We brought him from Blackburn and my challenge to him was to get into the Republic of Ireland team. He was captain of Drogheda and he went to Blackburn.

“I said to him to come up here and play in the Premiership and play against the best there is here. Jamie McGrath did it last year and got into the Republic of Ireland team.

“Jim plays like that week in, week out and he’ll be chapping on the door. I’m not trying to pick anybody’s team – but he’ll be a good player if he keeps playing like that.

“I thought he was sensational against a really good player in (Daizen) Maeda.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is relishing the expectation of following up on the club’s latest treble-winning season as he declared he had “unfinished business” in Scottish football.

Rodgers started an incredible run of Celtic winning five trebles in seven seasons when he first arrived in Glasgow in the summer of 2016.

He returns on the back of Ange Postecoglou becoming the third manager to achieve the clean sweep during that run and he did not shy away from the lofty ambitions during his first pre-match media conference of the season.

Ahead of Saturday’s cinch Premiership opener against Ross County, Rodgers addressed the challenge of following up on an impressive campaign which saw Celtic lose only one domestic game before clinching the title.

“I sit here with the knowledge of doing it twice, so I understand what the pitfalls of success are,” said Rodgers, who won all seven trophies he competed for in Scotland first time round.

“In order to have long-term success there are certain elements you need to make sure you guard against. That’s something we have spoken about over pre-season.

“For a club like Celtic it’s always about winning, but winning in the best way that you possibly can.

“That is sometimes harder. When we did the treble the second time, we didn’t amass the same amount of points. Our game wasn’t maybe quite at the same level, but we turned up in the big games and did what we needed to do.

“That will be the idea this season again, to win three trophies, it’s an incredible achievement. But it’s a new season, new motivation and new desires. I am looking forward to challenging for every trophy again.”

Rodgers stressed the need to impose themselves again on the title race rather than hold on to what they had.

“The mentality is, rather then defend it, we want to win it,” he said. “That’s key, we start everything afresh. It was a great achievement last year and years leading up to that but everyone starts with no points at the beginning of the season.

“That’s the excitement for me of coming back here. I always felt I had unfinished business here when I left. But I am so happy to be here and really happy to take on that pressure and expectation that comes from managing Celtic.”

Celtic have added five new signings after losing only one key player, Jota, since Rodgers took over, but the manager is keen to make sure they do not stand still.

“There are clear positions that are priorities that we would like to improve on but the team and the squad was in a really good position,” the former Leicester manager said. “I was fresh in so I needed to assess that over a period of time.

“Over time we will look to improve the squad further because it’s the best time to do it, whenever you have had success, because success is that moving target.

“It keeps moving and the challenges this year will be even greater, so we have to ensure we have a squad that can match that.”

Both Cameron Carter-Vickers and Anthony Ralston could feature against County after getting their first 45 minutes of pre-season action against Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday following injury.

“Both those players came through really well during the week which is great news for us,” Rodgers said.

“They are back with the squad. They probably aren’t as up to speed as some of the other boys but they still look in very good condition, so we will take a look at them on Friday.”

Brendan Rodgers felt Celtic’s 1-1 draw with Wolves in their Dublin friendly was “perfect” preparation for next week’s cinch Premiership curtain-raiser.

Japan striker Kyogo Furuhashi opened the scoring for the Hoops in the sixth minute after Reo Hatate had earlier struck the woodwork.

Celtic missed several chances, with Furuhashi hitting the top of a post, although the Premier League side had chances of their own.

Rodgers’ men continued to dominate after the break and new South Korean duo Yang Hyun-jun and Kwon Hyeon-kyu came on for their first appearances.

However, Wolves’ Brazilian striker Matheus Cunha, who hit a post early in the second half, levelled from the penalty spot in the 85th minute after Hoops goalkeeper Joe Hart was adjudged to have brought down substitute Matt Doherty in the box.

Rodgers told Viaplay Sports: “It feels like a loss whenever you concede late on, but the workout was perfect for us.

“I thought we had some spells of fantastic football, defensively against a good side, good players you have to defend and it’s the perfect type of game that we needed.

“Of course the game gets a bit broken when you’re making changes and you lose that fluency and the rhythm of the game, so I’m probably in that stage, second half, the last 25 minutes, we gave the ball away too much.

“So we have to be better in that aspect.

“But overall, we’re really pleased, a great exercise for us against a good side.

“It’s very important in any team of mine to look to impose and initiate the game as high up the pitch as you can and like I said, we have guys that are willing to work and run and they worked very well.

“It was a great finish by Kyogo but we had other chances as well, some other fantastic chances, but it was a really good exercise.”

Celtic play Spanish side Athletic Bilbao in James Forrest’s testimonial game at Parkhead on Tuesday night before the Scottish champions begin the league season against Ross County on August 5.

Rodgers said: “I just think it’s building again on the fitness aspects, the positioning.

“The team obviously plays well but there are certain phases of the game where we can improve. I thought in the build-up in the early stages we were very good, and then it’s dealing with a little bit more pressure.

“On Tuesday we’ll play two 45-minute teams. We need to get some minutes into their legs and obviously then that will be a final preparation game before the season starts. So that’s the idea for Tuesday.”

Brendan Rodgers has described Kyogo Furuhashi’s new four-year deal at Celtic as “brilliant news” for the treble winners.

The Japan striker, 28, has scored 54 goals in 83 games since signing from Vissel Kobe in 2021 and is now tied to the Parkhead club until 2027.

Rodgers, beginning his second stint as Hoops boss, told the club’s official website: “It is brilliant news for the club. Kyogo is an important player for us so I am delighted he has signed a new contract.

“Kyogo has thrived since he arrived in Scottish football and has shown his outstanding qualities.

“In two seasons, he has secured five domestic honours, scored over 50 club goals and become a treble winner. This takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice both on and off the pitch.

“He is an exciting player who is hungry to bring more success to our club. He has a great mentality and is an unbelievable talent.

“I am looking forward to working with him and helping him and the wider team develop to help drive the club forward.”

Furuhashi said: “I am very happy to extend my stay for four years at this incredible club. It is an honour to represent Celtic Football Club and our amazing supporters.

“Last season was unbelievable. From the start of the campaign, our aim was to do as well as we could in every competition we played in.

“We worked very hard every day, on and off the pitch, to win silverware and put smiles on our fans’ faces.

“To win my first treble, and help secure a world record-breaking eighth treble for the club was a very proud moment for me and I cherish the memories of celebrating this with our fans.’

“They have been so supportive of me since I joined Celtic so I will work hard to repay them.

“Next season our objective is the same – to bring success to our club.  I am excited to defend our trophies and the opportunity to represent this huge club in the Champions League. My personal motivation is to score more goals and help my team-mates win matches.

“I am looking forward to getting started and working with Brendan. He is a top-level manager, he knows the club and knows what it takes to win silverware here. I and my team-mates are looking forward to working with him.”

Brendan Rodgers will kick off his second spell as Celtic boss with a home game against Ross County on Saturday, August 8.

The curtain raiser for the reigning Scottish Premiership champions at Celtic Park will be televised live on Sky Sports with a 12:30pm kick-off.

Rangers start their first full season with Michael Beale at the helm with a trip to Kilmarnock later the same day, as they seek to win just a second title since 2011 after finishing seven points adrift of Celtic last campaign.

The game at Rugby Park will kick off at 5:15pm and will also be televised live.

The Glasgow rivals meet in the first Old Firm Derby of the season on matchday 4 with the champions travelling to Ibrox on September 3 for an early test of Rodgers’ second incarnation since replacing Ange Postecoglou.

Last season’s third-place side Aberdeen open with a trip to Livingston on the opening day, with Barry Robson looking to build on the strong finish to the last campaign that earned him the manager’s job on a permanent basis after stepping in as caretaker in January.

Hearts begin with an away game against St Johnstone as they look to put behind them the collapse in form from March onwards that cost them third place last season, whilst Saints themselves are looking to make a strong start under Steven MacLean after winning just five times in the league since mid-December.

Dundee mark their return to the top flight at the first attempt with a home game against Motherwell and will be hoping to make their stay a longer one than the single season they managed last time they were up, particularly after they replaced relegated city rivals Dundee United who were relegated.

Hibernian and St Mirren, who finished fifth and sixth last term, open with a meeting at Easter Road.

The second round of fixtures, currently scheduled for August 12 before TV selections are made, will see Celtic travel to Aberdeen and Rangers host Livingston, whilst fans will have to wait until October 7 for the first Edinburgh derby of the season, which will take place at Tynecastle.

The traditional New Year head-to-head between Rangers and Celtic is scheduled for December 30 with a 12:30pm kick-off at Celtic Park, whilst the final meeting before the league splits will be at Ibrox on April 6.

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