Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is starting to feel the pressure as he prepares for the biggest game of his Hoops career when they face Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday.
The Parkhead senior man has taken to speaking about his side’s Old Firm rivals after spending months – coinciding with when his team were beating all in front of them domestically – insisting he wouldn’t talk about other sides.
The Celtic boss knows his side need to avoid defeat against Rangers or he could quite easily see a section of the Hoops support turn against him as the title race goes to the wire.
Rodgers has rarely faced any pressure at Celtic since taking over in 2016 and, aside from a few probing questions in the wake of his side’s numerous European humiliations, has never really had to deal with anything like the atmosphere that surrounds an Old Firm clash that has so much at stake.
The Hoops have gone from finishing 30 points ahead of the Gers to being almost neck and neck in less than 12 months and – in a season that the Gers were knocked out of Europe by a team from Luxembourg and sacked their manager by Halloween – not all the credit can go to their rivals.
The former Liverpool manager has often been portrayed as a tier above everyone else in Scottish football – ostensibly for getting sacked at Liverpool – but now there’s a bit of pressure on his side the Celtic boss has suddenly started speaking about teams and criticising them in a way he finds disrespectful.
Although, if Rodgers is feeling the pressure now he could really feel it on Monday morning.