Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would not be drawn on whether Dorus de Vries was now the club’s No.1 goalkeeper after leaving Craig Gordon on the bench yesterday for the 4-1 victory over Aberdeen in order to accommodate a man he says better understands how he wants his Celtic team to play.
Rodgers described as “unfair” the criticisms that have been aimed at the Scotland international for the goals lost in the 2-0 defeat away to Hapoel Beer-Sheva that allowed Celtic to progress to the Champions League group stages, but was unapologetic about handing a debut to the keeper he worked with at Swansea, and recruited from Nottingham Forest a fortnight ago.
“I just do what I do in every game and put out what I think is the best team,” he said. “My keeper is no different to any outfield players. I always say my teams have to play with control from behind in order for us to play how I want us to play.
“Listen, I want to reiterate Craig Gordon has been fantastic since I came in here. There has been a lot of unfair focus on him. He’s a good guy, 33 years of age, he works tirelessly every day. Since I’ve come in here he has really had to adapt and take on board, in terms of what I have been asking the players to work on, and to play.
“Dorus de Vries knows inside out how I want to work and I’m sure Craig Gordon will get another opportunity again.”