Celtic improvement under Brendan Rodgers ‘like night and day’

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after his side defeated Dundee yesterday. Picture: SNS
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after his side defeated Dundee yesterday. Picture: SNS
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Captain Scott Brown demonstrated his improvement under Brendan Rodgers by sending Celtic into the international break with the winning goal at Dundee on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Hoops midfielder has been at the top of his game this season and his first Ladbrokes Premiership strike in over a year left the Parkhead club four points ahead of Aberdeen at the top of the table with a game in hand.

Brown praised the influence of boss Rodgers, who took over from Ronny Deila in the summer, while admitting a good pre-season and his decision to retire from Scotland duty in August is also key to his form.

“I’m learning from the manager and his tactical discipline, rather than just running about and tackling people,” he said.

“From this season to last season it has been night and day for everyone and to get a good pre-season under my belt has been the main thing.

“We’re still working on our high, intensive press from start to finish but we’re getting fitter as the games go on and the rest will do us the world of good.

“Going away with Scotland and training 10 days and doing double sessions here and there, I enjoyed it and loved every single moment, especially with Gordon Strachan.

“But for my body and legs I needed to call time and now it seems to be working for me.

“Every couple of months I’m getting a couple of days off here and there and the gaffer is looking out for me as well as to make sure I’m ticking over.”

The exertions from Wednesday night’s 3-3 Champions League draw with Manchester City looked to have some impact on the visitors but they were still deserved winners, which leaves them having only dropped two points from seven league games.

Ever-present Brown said: “Dundee gave us a good game. It’s always hard, they fought and created a couple of chances but yet again we created a couple more and I was lucky enough to get on the scoresheet.

“It was my first of the season in the league so hopefully there are a couple more this season.

“But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter to me who scores the goals, as long as we get three points on the board and get the performance.”

For all their efforts Dundee dropped into 10th place, one point above bottom side Partick Thistle, and are still looking for their first win since the opening day of the season at Ross County.

However, boss Paul Hartley is looking for his side to keep up the standards set against Celtic.

He said: “We’ve got to be like that until the end of the season.

“We said that to the players, we stressed how important it was to pick points up. Nobody gave us a chance but I felt we were always in the game.

“I changed the shape to three at the back and I felt we were more comfortable. I felt the whole team were excellent and I need to take the positives.”

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