Brendan Rodgers was being '˜honest and respectful' with Hearts comments

Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies has insisted Brendan Rodgers showed Hearts no disrespect with his comments in the wake of Ian Cathro's sacking.

Jon Daly was not impressed. Picture: SNS
Jon Daly was not impressed. Picture: SNS

Rodgers expressed his sympathy for Cathro and described the structure of the football department at Hearts as “confused”, claiming some of the players signed in the summer were a “mismatch” for the style of play the head coach was trying to implement.

That prompted an angry response from Hearts 
interim head coach Jon Daly who branded the Celtic manager’s comments as “disgusting and disgraceful”.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Rodgers’ assistant Davies, who assumed his club’s pre-match media duties yesterday ahead of tonight’s Betfred Cup last 16 tie against Kilmarnock, attempted to draw a line under the spat.

“If you look back, Brendan has had a long management career, nearly ten years, and he’s not one who has volatile public relations with other managers,” said Davies.

“He is a respectful guy and will try and answer the media in an open, respectful way. It’s not something Brendan is worried about or has any issues about.

“I’ve not spoken to Brendan about it. I’ve been with him this morning but we’ve not discussed it. But in my own time I read the comments Brendan made and then I’ve seen the reaction. There’s no issue, there’s no problem between us and Hearts or Jon Daly. We wish them well.

“Brendan was asked a question and answered it – that’s what happened. I’ve worked with Brendan for a long, long time and he always bases his work around respect.

“Respect for opposition managers, opposition players. So I think it’s been blown out of proportion a little bit. For us, we have more important things to think about – as have Hearts.

“My interpretation of it, when I read it, was that what Brendan was trying to do was show support for another manager. Ian Cathro is a young manager, who Brendan doesn’t even know in terms of being a friend or anything like that. He was just trying to show his support.

“The points he was making were more in relation to the style of play as opposed to recruitment. He was observing the team from another manager’s perspective.

“If you look into what he was saying, it was more related to showing support for another manager and, like we do with other teams, looking at where they are at and what their team has been like. He certainly didn’t intend to offend anybody or anything like that.

“The truth is that we are here at Celtic and we have more important things to worry about than management teams and other clubs. We will move on, there’s no issue. We focus all our 
energies on Kilmarnock.”