Brendan Rodgers Takes Sly Dig At Rangers Ahead Of Glasgow Derby
Despite being heavily favoured to claim a consecutive domestic treble, things have soured ever so slightly for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic.
Sitting six points ahead of second-placed Rangers in the Scottish Premiership, this weekend's Glasgow derby could see Graeme Murty's side climb unexpectedly close to Celtic; although Rodgers' side will have a game in hand.
Although something of a domestic challenge would perhaps be welcomed by Celtic's sated supporters, their form in Europe has been the determining factor amongst those willing to cast the slightest of doubt on Rodgers' progress.
Having taken a 1-0 lead into their Europa League last-32 second-leg tie against Zenit St. Petersburg, Celtic capitulated and lost the tie 3-1 on aggregate.
Perhaps feeling the pressure begin to mount, Rodgers was quite bullish speaking ahead of this weekend's crucial derby. Although Rangers have offered Celtic scant resistance during Rodgers' time in Scotland thus far, a pre-match discussion with the club's website showed the former Liverpool manager's determination to remove any potential complacency:
We've got a lot of work to do and we'll need to perform better and more consistently in that game.
Not that Rodgers believes Celtic are the ones under any real pressure given their relatively comfortable lead at the summit of the table:
There’s huge pressure on Rangers in the game but for us, we’ll have a good working week and go into that game and work as well as well can.
They’ve got a bit more spirit, from what I see, and they’ve probably found a consistency, but they’ve played without pressure for most of my time up here so they’ll feel this little bit of pressure in the game because it’s a game they have to win.
While Rangers' well-documented difficulties in recent years affords Rodgers' assertion regarding their lack of "pressure" somewhat accurate, that the club have dispensed with two managers since Rodgers' arrival in 2016 would suggest that the club isn't quite as breezy as the Celtic boss imagines.