Jeff Holmes
the brodge

Rodgers' renaissance is almost complete and well ahead of schedule

The former Liverpool manager is hoping to lead the Scottish giants to a domestic treble.

BRENDAN RODGERS’ CAREER renaissance is set to climax this week as the Celtic manager prepares to celebrate the Scottish Premiership title.

Rodgers has been rebuilding his reputation at the Glasgow giants after being sacked by Liverpool in October 2015.

The Hoops are unbeaten domestically this season and Rodgers clinched the first trophy of his career when he led the Parkhead club to the Scottish League Cup last November.

Celtic are 25 points clear of Aberdeen with nine games remaining and will win the title with victory at Hearts on Sunday. The Hoops would also be crowned champions if the Dons lose at Dundee tonight.

It would be a first league title for Rodgers, with the 44-year-old finally set to finish on top after his Liverpool team narrowly missed out on the Premier League in the 2013-14 campaign.

Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip in a home defeat to Chelsea halted Liverpool’s title charge and, after finishing sixth the next season, Rodgers was sacked during the following campaign.

After seven months out of the game, Rodgers was offered the chance to lead a revolution at Celtic following Ronny Deila’s two-year reign at Parkhead, which ended without the Norwegian making any progress in European competition.

However, former Swansea manager Rodgers guided the Hoops into the group stages of the Champions League at the first attempt and, with a Scottish Cup semi-final against Old Firm rivals Rangers looming next month, he is now within touching distance of a first Celtic treble since 2001.

Hoops captain Scott Brown, whose own career has been given a new lease of life since the arrival of Rodgers last year, says the Celtic players are desperate to deliver the title for their manager.

“The manager has come in and it will be great for him to get his first league title wrapped up and hopefully we can do it for him on Sunday,” he said.

“Tynecastle is a hard place to go. It’s a fantastic stadium with all the fans right on top of each other but at the end of the day we need to keep going, keep performing and keep winning for as long as we possibly can.

“We’ve got a great squad, we need to use it well and I’m sure the gaffer will.”

Elsewhere, Pedro Caixinha will take charge of Rangers for only the second time when his side host Motherwell tomorrow.

The Ibrox club currently trail Aberdeen by eight points in the race for second spot and will travel to Pittodrie to take on the Dons next weekend.

© – AFP, 2017

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