CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers last night saluted new contract trio Scott Sinclair, Tom Rogic and James Forrest after they were central to his team’s 5-0 demolition of Motherwell to set-up a home Betfred League Cup quarter-final against Alloa Athletic.
Forrest yesterday followed Rogic in agreeing a contract extension with the Parkhead club and Rodgers hailed the pair whose pressing and aggression contributed to a display that the Celtic manager believes shows his team are “getting better”. With “one or two” more signings he believes an “exciting” season lies ahead. Sinclair, bought for £3.5m from Aston Villa last weekend, scored on his full debut, which Rogic and Moussa Dembele netting doubles.
Rogic and Forrest, Rodgers described as “wonderful footballers” and the Irishman said that, after injury-interupted recent seasons, he “hoped and prayed” the pair could maximise their abilities. “I made it very clear to him [Forrest] I want him to stay because of his speed, pace, power, and real aggression. Now, he shouldn’t rest and it is a case of him earning himself his next deal.
Rodgers then singled out Sinclair for some extra praise when he said he “offers us a whole new dimension”. “I think Celtic fans, and football fans across Scotland, are going to enjoying watch him. He is an English Premier League footballer who has come up here to enjoy his football”.
“I thought some of our football was excellent. Tonight you probably saw a shift in the tempo of the team. When you bring someone in like young Scotty [Sinclair], you see a dynamic shift, with his speed and his movement.
“We’re very fortunate to have him here. That’s the reality. He’s a Premier League player. The one thing in the Premier League down south is the speed of the game. This is a kid who set the game alight for me at Swansea.”
Rodgers was content with the draw that will bring Jack Ross’s League One side to Celtic Park in five weeks’ time. “The aim was to get through and after all I thought was as long as get home draw - no matter who it is. We love to play here no matter who it is. I sense the players are excited to be here, and I certainly am. We will give Alloa utmost respect.”