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RODGERS’ FIELD OF DREAMS

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BRENDAN RODGERS hailed the Celtic ground staff for their work on the new Parkhead pitch.

The Hoops boss watched his wallop Belgian outfit Standard Liege 4-1 as he prepared for the return Champions League tie against Armenia’s Alashkert in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Rodgers demanded the club ripped up the old turf following last season’s double treble success and £1.5million was spent in installing a hybrid replacement.

The state-of-the-art surface mixes natural grass with artificial fibres to present an even surface that will ideally suit the champions’ fast-flowing football.

And the Irishman was delighted with the pitch upgrade and the performance of his team and the goals from Odsonne Edouard, Moussa Dembele, Callum McGregor and Mikey Johnston.

NOT THIS TIME, CELTIC…Callum McGregor prepares to drag the ball round keeper Jean-Francois Gillet, but the midfielder’s cross was cleared.

Rodgers said: “Congratulations to the club and the ground staff as I’ve been crying about a pitch here for a long time.

“You saw the speed of it and it’ll get slightly quicker which is great for us – a very pleasing day.

“I was very pleased with both halves. We were playing against a good side, who just missed out on the Belgian league title last season and won their domestic Cup. We knew it was going to be a good standard and they have good speed in their team.

“I thought our fluency – and the speed and crispness of our game – was outstanding. In the first-half, our shape of the team caused lots of problems for them and then obviously the quality of our goals was exceptional, really.

“You come in with a good solid base at half-time and you put out a younger team with some experience around it. and again we were good. The defensive organisation in both halves was excellent and the football was exciting.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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