Brendan Rodgers on Celtic fan reaction: ‘What the f*** are you doing? I’m one of you’

BRENDAN Rodgers has spoken out over the response to his sudden departure to Leicester as Celtic fans label his decision as a betrayal on a par with Mo Johnston’s switch to Rangers.

A banner was unveiled during Celtic’s 2-1 win at Hearts in midweek calling Rodgers a fraud, saying he had swapped immortality for mediocrity.

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Brendan Rodgers denies reports Leicester were willing to wait

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Fans were filmed at Edinburgh’s Roseburn Bar singing: “I hope you die in your sleep Brendan Rodgers - with a bullet from the IRA”.

Brendan Rodgers has come under fire from the Celtic support for his decision to move to Leicester mid-season. Picture: PA

In response to the overall fans’ reaction since his sudden switch, Rodgers said: “I’d ask them, ‘What the f*** are you doing?’ Bloody hell, I’m one of you!’.

“Okay, I made a career decision. But that doesn’t make me any less of a Celt.”

Speaking for the first time since his move, Rodgers looked stunned as he was told Hoops supporters had branded his decision to leave as the biggest single act of betrayal since Maurice Johnston’s shock last-minute switch to rivals Rangers in the 1980s.

“Is it that bad?”, Rodgers asked. “So who is fuelling that? Where is it coming from?”

The new Leicester boss also revealed he’d asked about a summer switch to the club but was turned down.

He added separately: “I’ve seen what’s been said but Celtic supporters will hurt. I understand how they feel.

“They are hurting and maybe a little worried in terms of what might happen with me leaving.

“Words, you always have to be careful with. I’ve seen the banner, the Celtic supporters are hurting. They gave me everything so I’m not going to say anything other than that.

“It was a shock and they are probably angry but eventually reality will set in and the work we did will be appreciated. But what gave me the comfort to move is what we put in place there was going to stabilise the club going forward. I knew, coming away, the improvements made will hopefully allow that success to continue.

“It may be a little unfair on Leicester, I haven’t swapped coming into a mediocre club.

“It’s recent history has been incredible, they have that ambition to push higher than where we are.”

The impact of Rodgers, who has signed a deal until 2022, has already been welcomed by the Leicester squad. The players have been receptive to his changes, including giving them a monthly training schedule, instead of the weekly plan under Puel. He takes control with Leicester tenth in the league ahead of tomorrow’s trip to former club Watford.