Brendan Rodgers axes Craig Gordon then calls him '˜fantastic'

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.

Celtic's Craig Gordon was dropped to the bench for the Aberdeen game. Picture: SNS

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.

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“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.”