Celtic

Rodgers makes plain the area that needs strengthening at Celtic in January

Celtic supporters were in jubilant mood over the weekend after seeing their side continue their domination of football north of the border with a 1-0 victory at Ross County, thus moving the Bhoys six points clear at the summit of the Scottish Premiership table.

Brendan Rodgers’ men swept everybody aside last year in their run to winning the league, Scottish Cup, and Scottish League Cup, and have started this term in similar vein by opening up a healthy lead at the top of the division, as well as reaching the latter’s showpiece at the end of the month. And they made it 64 domestic matches unbeaten on Saturday as a Leigh Griffiths free-kick 12 minutes from time was enough to seal a 1-0 victory for Rodgers’ side, who in turn benefited from defeats to their three nearest rivals to open up a six-point lead at the top of the table.

Thus, there have been many delighted Bhoys fans in the Tavern this weekend, and they are likely to be further encouraged by a recent report from The Daily Record, which details some intriguing comments from manager Rodgers regarding their January transfer window plans.

The former Liverpool chief brought in five new faces over the summer to bolster his ranks ahead of the campaign, but with a World Cup looming at the end of the current campaign, which coincides with the first qualifying rounds for the Champions League, the 44-year-old knows that work will have to be done during January to strengthen his squad.

And he identified one key area that will need reinforcing, saying: ‘It’s the way it is. We have to prepare for that in the next window to ensure we’re covered.

‘Gamboa and Lustig are right-sided defensive players so that’s a key area for us because we don’t want to be left short. Tony Ralston can cover but it’s an area we need to consider.

‘We have been short in certain areas over the last two summers, so January is a big window for us if we feel we need to do something.’

These comments are sure intrigue our resident Celtic supporters, who will be hoping that Rodgers can get deals done in the New Year so they are ready for European qualifiers come the time of the World Cup.

Landlord’s verdict: For many managers around the country, the summer transfer window is the best time to take stock of one’s squad and plan for the forthcoming season, but things are slightly different at Celtic.

Brendan Rodgers’ side, should they indeed go on to win the Scottish Premiership, have Champions League qualifiers to play as early as June of next year to reach the 2018/19 competition, and as such the 44-year-old will need to use the January window efficiently to bolster his ranks.

And with a World Cup taking place next summer, and with four first team players expected to go, Rodgers knows that January will be pivotal in their hopes for next season, and he has identified the right-back department as one that needs strengthening.

Ultimately, how Celtic fare next term could well come down to their recruitment in the New Year.

Celtic fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!

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