Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed why the Hoops are set to return to Austria for a pre-season tour.
The Scottish champions head off to Austria next week, to play a series of friendlies, and the Hoops boss is looking for a repeat of the attitude from his players which lead to the Bhoys qualifying for the Champions League group stages and winning a second successive domestic treble.
“The people there were great for us, we got a lot of great work in that period” Rodgers said, as quoted by Celtic’s official Twitter account.
“The games is about the building up towards the opening of the season, and obviously the opening of the Champions League games.”
“I felt it was really good last year.”
🇦🇹 Brendan Rodgers is 👀 forward to pre-season in Austria!
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) June 20, 2018
The Hoops will spend 10 days in Austria before returning to competitive action with their opening Champions League qualifier against Armenian champions Alashkert.
Football Insider verdict
As Brendan Rodgers says, the pre-season tour will all be about fine-tuning the Hoops ahead of the pivotal Champions League qualifiers which begin in less than a month’s time. Those games will define the Bhoys’ season, and if Rodgers feels that a return to Austria will help the Hoops achieve their goal of making the group stages of Europe’s elite competition then so be it. There will be a bit of a difference in the build-up in comparison to last season though, as the likes of Tom Rogic, Dedryck Boyata and Mikael Lustig are currently at the World Cup and will miss a large selection of pre-season training. That is what comes with managing a big club though, and Rodgers has successfully navigated all of the previous issues he has to deal with as Hoops boss. He will be confident that the Hoops will be able to handle not having some of their integral players around for a few weeks.
In other Celtic news, a Hoops player is close to signing a new deal with the club