Rodgers reveals why Celtic have to perform in Hogmanay Old Firm clash
By Emma Sanders
Brendan Rodgers has insisted Celtic will not be complacent when they take on Rangers at Ibrox and claimed it’s crucial they perform to their best despite their lead at the top of the table.
Celtic currently hold a 16-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table, with a game in hand, and the result is unlikely to affect the race for the title.
However, Rodgers has made it clear that his players must maintain high standards and every game is an opportunity for the players to show they should be selected.
The Hoops boss also admitted it was the duty of the players to deliver good performances for the fans and the “culture” of the club.
“We have to perform. It’s not about the 16-point lead,” Rodgers said in the Scottish Sun.
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“We have a pride and we are representing our supporters and, in derby games, it’s everything for them. We respect that,” he added.
“You are fighting for your shirt. I said to the players when I came here that they’re defending the culture of the club.”
Celtic remain unbeaten in domestic competition throughout the 2016-17 season and victory on New Year’s Eve will take their tally to 23 games without loss this season, discounting Champions League games.
They have been in excellent form and have already picked up silverware this season when they knocked Rangers out of the semi-final of the Betfred Cup, before going on to beat Aberdeen in the final.
The Hoops were also victorious in the first Old Firm derby in September when they humiliated Rangers with a thumping 5-1 victory at Celtic Park.
Rangers are in desperate need of a victory after suffering a disappointing 1-1 draw against St Johnstone on Wednesday and all three points will be necessary to consolidate their second position spot in the league table.
In other Celtic news, Scott Brown provides his verdict ahead of the Rangers clash.