Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers opens up on Michael Beale's Rangers exit and 'magic man's' big decision

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Michael Beale after his team's 1-0 defeat of Rangers last month that the Irishman referenced in the "difficult" period that resulted in the 43-year-old losing his job. An outcome Rodgers acknowledges will be hard for his rival now, but whom he offered hope in suggesting "after the clouds comes the sunshine". (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Michael Beale after his team's 1-0 defeat of Rangers last month that the Irishman referenced in the "difficult" period that resulted in the 43-year-old losing his job. An outcome Rodgers acknowledges will be hard for his rival now, but whom he offered hope in suggesting "after the clouds comes the sunshine". (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Michael Beale after his team's 1-0 defeat of Rangers last month that the Irishman referenced in the "difficult" period that resulted in the 43-year-old losing his job. An outcome Rodgers acknowledges will be hard for his rival now, but whom he offered hope in suggesting "after the clouds comes the sunshine". (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admits the sacking of Michael Beale by rivals Rangers “feels very early” but that it reflects the increasingly cut-throat nature of management.

The Irishman recognises that comes with the terrain in Glasgow as he prepares to be pitted against his sixth Ibrox management team across his two spells that cover almost three years. But his sympathy for the fate that has befallen Beale – a predicament he understands in losing his job with Leicester in April – comes with a belief that the 43-year-old will be able to reflect and “sharpen his teeth” for a third managerial role, following two brief stints. The Englishman electing to leave first club Queens Park Rangers within four months to move to Glasgow last November.

“It is all based on pressure for the result,” Rodgers said of Beale’s removal after 307 days. “What helps you as a coach and a manager is experience. That always allows you to stay calm. In Michael’s situation it was a challenge for the last number of weeks, but he’ll grow from it. No doubt. That’s what being a manager is all about. We know the landscape up here. It is a challenge as a Celtic or Rangers manager. It obviously feels very early in the season, but they obviously feel they needed to make the change. It’s always difficult whenever you lose your job as a manager. I’ve had that experience and when it happens to you for the first time it can feel like the end of the world. But what you learn with experience is that after the clouds comes the sunshine – and that it’s a part of the game. You learn, especially in the modern game when change happens so much, that it can happen to you.

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“When you’re manager at Celtic and Rangers, these jobs are the very highest level of pressure, expectation, stress. For a young manager starting out that’s a big, big challenge. But he will go away and reflect where he could have been better, where things could have been different and then it will sharpen his teeth going into the next job. At the biggest clubs the highs can be really high and, like he’s probably sampled in the last few days, the lows can be low. But it’s part of our job. It’s our profession and it’s not always nice. But he’ll come again, I’m pretty sure.”

Rodgers had another career end to offer his thoughts on as he faced the media prior to Celtic’s Champions League hosting of Lazio after Tom Rogic announced his retirement from playing at the age of 30. The playmaker posted a statement in which he revealed that the fertility issues he and his wife had endured before the birth of their first child - and the fact that they now have twins on the way - had made his mind up to step away from the game to return to his Australian homeland and devoted himself to his growing family. A player who enjoyed many of the most memorable times experienced during his seven-year Celtic career under Rodgers, his former manager offered respect for Rogic not tying his sense of self to the game he excelled in.

“There is the invisible stuff that most people don’t see. You don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, and you shouldn’t because lots of things are private,” the Irishman said. “And unless you are aware, it is hard for you to judge. I was sad in a way for Tom but also happy for him. I know him really, really well. I spent a lot of time in communication with him. When I was here the first time, he was an absolutely brilliant player for me, and a great guy. I knew the suffering he had off the pitch in looking to become a father. Obviously it was great to see his news when they had the first baby, and obviously now expecting the twins.

“Listen, football is our lives and our passion, but you also have to have an identity away from the game. He is a father, first and foremost, and a family man, and that is more important to him. At 30 years of age, he will be back home and enjoy his life and be with his family. And he can look back and be very proud of the career he had, certainly here at Celtic. You judge the biggest players on the big moments, the biggest contributions, and he produced that, and over 50-odd caps for Australia.

I [called him my magic man] and seen it in so many games, so many times in training. He was a very unassuming boy, very quiet, never liked the attention. But the ideal footballer you want: mental strength and a competitve spirit. Two things that are absolutely key. As well as talent, he had those traits. For years to come, when you mention Tom Rogic for Celtic, everyone will be like ‘wow, what about the goals he scored against Rangers, the invincible treble goal, what an occasion that was’. And I can also remember many great goals he scored as well. He was a great Celtic player. A Celtic great? Other people will judge that.”

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