Top Line Summary

  • Has admired Adam Idah since breaking through at Norwich
  • Insists supports have a right to demand quality
  • Wants to develop quality as well as purchase
  • Injury updates for Cameron Carter-Vickers & Reo Hatate
  • Feels sympathy for Robson after dismissal

Everything Celtic's Brendan Rodgers said to Sky Sports, ahead of the game against Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon... 

What do you make of the Adam Idah signing?

He’s the level of player that we would’ve liked to have brought in. I think I’ve mentioned before that we can only bring in people that I feel are quality signings, and I think that the two guys that we’ve brought in on the short, medium and long term can do well for us. Adam is a young player that I had seen in the premier league breaking through as a youngster. I’ve got to say, I was taken aback by the attributes that he had. I think for one reason or another it hasn’t quite worked out for him so far at Norwich, he had some injuries and whatever else. There’s no doubting his talent, he’s a big talent with big potential and at 22 a player who still has great years ahead of him. Coming here, we’ll work with each other and see if we can maximise that talent. I know he’s delighted to be here, and I’m delighted that he is as well.

Was he one that you identified and pushed towards?

It doesn’t really matter. It’s all about getting the work done. The club have very hard over this window right to the very end. We’ve had some deals that we just couldn’t get quite over the line, and that wasn’t the club’s problem. Who identifies the players doesn’t really matter, it’s really about finding the quality and the level of player that can come in here and help us progress.

You’ve been consistently talking about needing to add the right type and quality of player. Do you feel you’re on the right path with doing that? 

It’s very easy in the modern game and fashionable to want players and them expect to get them. It’s not necessarily the case. I said back in the summer what I felt the squad needed, and I will always demand that. I don’t want to bring in any players here that aren’t going to challenge the team. That’s something I’m conscious of, but I also understand that we want to develop and improve. Progression is very important for us.

READ MORE: Why Celtic's David Turnbull is a big 'What If?' for the club

You mention things that didn’t come off. Supporters were maybe expecting a little bit more. Have you put anything in place now for the summer in terms of long-term planning in that regard? 

There always is. From when the summer ended the key window for us was January. Likewise, going out of January into the summer window. What I must also reiterate is that I said before that a big part of my philosophy is about bringing in players of course but improving the players that we have. You have to respect the players that are here so that they can improve and develop more. That’s not to say that we can’t bring other players later down the line that can improve the squad. It works both ways hand in hand. We want to bring in a level of player that can help the team progress, but also our work day to day is about developing the players that are already here.

When you listen to supporters and their concerns, they look at the bigger picture of Europe and what was said about the need to add quality. Down the line, will there need to be a significant push in terms of investment and recruitment beyond what you’ve done now?

If you want to improve, then absolutely. It goes hand in hand. Developing players here is something that I have always believed in. The support has the right to demand the ambitions of the club. It’s also why I came back here, that I can help the club progress and particularly in Europe and make that progression. That’s something that you can’t just do with the click of your fingers. It’s something that we can fix and I want to improve that. Hopefully, over time we can show that.

A few boys moved out. Some to get gametime who weren’t featuring. David Turnbull is one who’s perhaps moved off surprisingly. What were you weighing up in allowing him to leave?

David was in the last year of his contract. He made it clear that he wasn’t going to sign. He’d been here a long time, and he’s a good guy. He trained quite well, it probably didn’t work out quite the way he wanted it to. He just needed to go somewhere where he felt he could play regular minutes. From a business perspective, you get to the last year of a contract, then it’s something you have to look at. We wish him well, a good guy who scored some really good goals for us at the club and now he goes on to the next part of his career.

READ MORE: Celtic's Adam Idah names his FIVE biggest striking strengths

How is Cameron Carter-Vickers? Is he available for the weekend?

No, he’s still a few weeks away. We’ll see how he is in a couple of weeks.

Have you had the chance to have an update on Reo Hatate from the Japan FA?

Yeah, he’s probably out for five to six weeks with a calf injury. It’s a real shame, but we’ll try and get him back as quickly as we can and look to get treatment on that.

For this weekend, what sort of challenge will you get from Aberdeen, given that Barry Robson has left the club?

Sad for Barry, and a victim of his own success there. That’s how it works sometimes I’m the modern game. He did great when he came in and brought them through into European football. When you’re in European football it’s a real challenge for the squad when you’re playing midweek and then that expectation at the weekend. I’m gutted for him, because he’s a good guy, and I know he had spent a number of years there and had done well. Now we have to take on the challenge in front of us and going to Pittodrie is never easy. We’re ready for that challenge and the players have been terrific in training. Now we have to take that mentality into the game.