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‘SURPRISED AT ROSENBORG AXE,’ RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS expressed his surprise at Rosenborg sacking Kare Ingebrigtsen only 24 hours after they had overcome Valur to set up their Champions League clashes with Celtic.

The Norwegians immediately handed the post on a temporary capacity to academy director Rini Coolen and he will be in charge of tonight’s first leg second round qualifier at Parkhead.

Rodgers admitted: “For them to qualify to this round and for the manager to then lose his job is a surprise.

“The support of the players showed they were maybe not happy with the decision, but we’re at stage now where the club have made the decision and the club and the new coach will have to move on.

“It can work in or two ways – galvanise the team or have a negative effect, but we’ll see. Our concentration is very much on ourselves to do our own job and we’ll look to do that over the two legs.

“Rosenborg play very much the same style and, unless there’s a drastic change with the new coach coming in, we expect them to be the same defensively. We have to be patient in our game, but also play with a good speed in order to move them.

“With the ball they are very clear with 4-3-3 with a holding midfield player. They’re a talented team.

“Over the two games, it’s always going to be a test for us, but we are a good team, as well, and we’ll look forward to whatever challenge we have in this phase of the Champions League and, hopefully, maximise that at home.”

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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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