Brendan Rodgers is adamant that he's never once instructed his players to go on a go-slow.

As manager of Swansea, Liverpool, Leicester and Celtic, the Northern Irishman has always talked about his teams playing with speed, tempo and a purpose.

On his second coming and unveiling at Parkhead back in June, Rodgers uttered these words: "I think in terms of how we play, my teams always play with attacking philosophy. It is aggressive and it is always a team set out to win with a tactical discipline. So that has never changed, when my teams are at their best, that is what they do."

In October, the 51-year-old expanded his thoughts on what his identity for Celtic was as they got set to play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. He said: "We have to play how our fans expect us to play and that's fighting and running with quality, that's what I see as the style of Celtic."

Ironically if you were to canvass the Celtic supporters right now that's the exact qualities that the faithful would say were missing from the current side. The Celtic fans' main complaint this season has been that Rodgers's style of football at times has been mundane, pedestrian, laborious and for want of a better word boring to watch.

Having relinquished the top spot in the Scottish Premiership to Rangers for the first time since 2022 after last weekend's 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock with 12 games to go Rodgers outlined the non-negotiables required for his men to become champions for the third successive season.

Rodgers's side heads to Fir Park on Sunday to take on Motherwell mindful that they could well be five points behind Philippe Clement's men before a ball is kicked in earnest.

When asked how Celtic could stamp out the anxiety in their play after the concession of a last-minute equaliser to the Ayrshire men last weekend. Rodgers urged his men to start taking more risks in an attacking sense. He also emphasised the need for his team to rediscover their intensity and consistency levels.

READ MORE: Celtic's Rodgers says 'intensity and consistency' are needed

He said: "There is no instruction to play slow. Any of you guys who were here the last time I was here although I don't like to go on about that, if you could label anything at my teams and the same goes for Swansea, Liverpool and Leicester it was intensity and speed in the game.

"To do that you have to play the ball forwards quickly. To do that you have to see the gaps and you have to trust your ability to play through. Whenever we have done that as a team and the intensity has been good it is when we have progressed the ball quickly and got into good positions and then the magic begins from that. When it is slow and you play sideways or backwards then it gives the opposition a chance to retreat and recover.

"You cannot play every pass forward but the speed of the ball is so important. When you have that and you have the runs to match then that brings a different dynamic to the game. That's the encouragement. To give the players the confidence to play the forward pass and to take that risk in the pass because that's how we work."

Whilst some of Rodgers's charges may well be risk averse, the Celtic manager was at pains to point out that interspersed in the current run of eight wins and two draws in their last 10 matches have been some good football moments.

However, the patience of the Celtic supporters is being tested to the limits because the results have not been there. Four dropped points in the last four league encounters with Aberdeen and Kilmarnock have had some fans already conceding the title because momentum is with the men from Ibrox.

Rodgers though is as pragmatic as ever. He is a wily and cunning fox and he insists that Celtic's title destiny is still in their own hands.

READ MORERodgers insists Celtic's destiny nothing to do with Rangers

Celtic Way:

He said: "I think it's the consistency and the intensity in game situations. Taking opportunities and creating them when we have the ball. In the latter stages of games, being able to see them out and how you manage those situations whether that's through the intensity to stop a pass going forward, recovering your shape as a team or even just fundamentally defending the box in certain areas.

"We will look at specific moments in the game when we can be better. We have had eight wins and two draws and it feels like eight losses and two draws. There has still been a lot of good in the games.

"It's just the result that disappoints and the performance disappoints and that doesn't give you a good feeling. My job along with the coaches is to train the players to stay positive and keep that mentality and look to be better in our next game.

"It's getting back to focusing on ourselves. We can't control what Rangers or any other team does. I've said all season we can only focus on our performance. We are not top of the league because of ourselves and the points that we've dropped.

"We have to learn from that and we have to be focused very much on our performance and that's what the next 12 games will be. It's still in our hands what we achieve this season, so we have to focus on that.

"There is no positive or negative feeling with it. It's where we are at come the end of the season after the 38 games. It can fluctuate and it doesn't matter where you sit now, it is where you are at the end of the season.

"Everything is in our hands and we need to be more consistent. I see a very determined group. It is a very honest group of players and we're getting some strength back into the squad as well which should help us, hopefully, for the final 12 games.

"We take the time to analyse the Kilmarnock performance and the result which no one wanted. We know that. That's what training is for, to come back in and analyse and we went through it as a group. We looked at things in the game that was actually good and sometimes they can get lost because of the result and conceding late on. There were some good elements to the game.

"We looked very closely at the qualities that are different when you are trying to win titles. We analysed them. The players have been excellent in training. We look to take that good week in training into the game at the weekend."

READ MORE: Celtic's Hart explains timing for retirement announcement

Celtic Way:

Meanwhile, Rodgers took time out to praise Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart who revealed that he was retiring from professional football at the end of the season.

He said: "We spoke about it a little while back. I knew what he was thinking. It was just about the timing. I understood it. I have had a few players in that position late in their careers and whether they play on or go out at the top. It doesn't seem that long ago since I saw Joe play for Shrewsbury and then I came up against him in our title race back in 2014. I watched his career closely.

"He's had a brilliant career. What's been nice, is to get to know him as a person. I've seen him from the outside and football's a small world. You get to hear about players and different types of characters in the changing room and clubs. He's always one that comes across as being a positive guy.

"To get the chance to see that every single day and work with's been a great honour to work with him. I also know he's super determined to finish his career on a high. I think that was the reason he wanted to get it out now and get it announced so he could concentrate on the rest of the season. He's a great man and hopefully, we can give him that success."

If Rodgers and his Celtic players are to provide Hart with the perfect swansong to his glorious career then they have 12 league games left upon which to get up to speed. Starting in Lanarkshire against Motherwell on Sunday.

It's only the Scottish Premiership title and access to a coveted £60 million Champions League bounty that's at risk, after all...