BRENDAN RODGERS has praised Hearts and Hibs for their contribution to Scotland’s co-efficient, hailing their respective wins over Rosenborg and Luzern this week as ‘brilliant’ for the country.

The Celtic manager put domestic rivalries to one side to congratulate the Edinburgh clubs, with Scotland having four representatives at the play-off stage of European competition for the first time ever, as well as his own side already qualified for the Champions League group stage.

Rodgers believes that shows the strength of the game in Scotland at the present time, and that the success of the other clubs is a massive shot in the arm for the reputation of the Premiership.

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“It’s absolutely brilliant,” Rodgers said.

“The more teams you can have in Europe, the better it is for the country and the league and everything that’s connected with that. 

“For Hearts and Hibs to get through was great. Obviously. you’ve got Aberdeen there as well, ourselves, Rangers. The more in there the better it is. 

“I always look at it from a football perspective, the experiences and travel supporters get going to foreign lands. The chance teams get to show off Scottish football. It can only help the more teams you have in Europe. 

“It’s always a challenge. It doesn’t matter if it’s ourselves or other clubs, European football is always a huge challenge when it comes to the travel and balance with domestic football.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers refused to be drawn too deeply into the ongoing ticketing row between Celtic and Rangers for the forthcoming Old Firm fixtures, except to say that he backed his club’s stance in refusing a limited number of briefs for Ibrox.

“I think ultimately, from the club’s perspective, it’s about the safety of the game,” he said. “That’s obviously the priority.

“I’ve obviously been lucky enough to watch the games over many years and to be a part of them in my first period here. 

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“I probably don’t want to get too much into it just now because of the timing of it. I can talk more leading into the game on it. 

“But I’ve got my own views on it having felt the atmosphere and everything with it.”