Brendan Rodgers meticulous in preparing Celtic players
Brendan Rodgers has given an insight into the meticulous attention to detail which he insists will leave his Celtic players with only themselves to blame if they fail to meet their targets this season.
The former Liverpool boss saw the Scottish champions make a winning start to their Premiership title defence on Sunday when they recovered from the controversial concession of a penalty kick to beat Hearts 2-1 at Tynecastle.
Rodgers has revealed he and his backroom team brief their players not only on their opponents ahead of matches but also provide analysis of the referee in charge.
“It’s about us knowing as a staff that we have done absolutely everything for the players to gain that extra 1 per cent,” said Rodgers. “Then they don’t have any excuses. Creating that no excuse environment is very important.
“It’s not homework, but the players are all given a document on the opponent. Everything is in there about the individual player they are playing against. We look at the offensive organisation of the opponent and the same defensively. We look at the different phases of transition, offensive and defensive.
“We also study the referee. We look at the last 35 games of the ref and look at his form going into games. Does he give particular cards at a high level or not?
“So we study the opponent and the referee in depth. But then it is the choice of the player. It’s never forced onto them.
“All of them will take away a document that will allow them to be fully 100 per cent prepared for the game.
“Some will read it religiously, read every letter that is on there. Some, I’m sure, will set it down after ten seconds and not look at it again.”
While reaching the Champions League group stage and winning a sixth consecutive title for the club are Rodgers’ main objectives, he is keen to succeed in every competition.
Rodgers is content with the currently demanding schedule of two games every week in different competitions. “It just means you have to use various tools to help them develop,” he added. “They are playing Wednesday, recovering Thursday so the nutrition is important in order to maximise their loading for the next game.
“We do lots of video, individually and in team analysis and on top of that we work on the field. There is an awful lot of work being poured into them.”