18 Feb 19
The Scottish Sun
CELTIC idol John Hartson insists Brendan Rodgers won’t walk out on the Bhoys.
Not when he can win ten-in-a-row and walk on water.
Brendan Rodgers celebrates a Celtic victory
Hartson’s old team-mate Chris Sutton has questioned whether Rodgers will quit the club this summer.
But Hartson insists there’s no chance of that happening.
He said: “I don’t go along with the idea Brendan will leave Celtic in the summer.
“He loves his job and if he wins ten-in-row he could walk on water — and I think Brendan would quite like to walk on water!
John Hartson has backed Rodgers to stay
“He’s living the dream as it is. It’s not about money for him. I think Brendan is very wealthy and he’s still very young in terms of management.
“As a man still in his 40s, he’ll have another 20 years at the top.
“As things are he’s very well thought of and could probably pick his next job, whether that’s abroad or back in the Premier League.
“But for now I like to believe he’s at Celtic for the long haul.
“I said on television the other night that it looked like some of the Celtic players had their eyes on a different prize.
“For me, they want that Treble again. Now that would be a monumental feat, if they were to go and do the treble Treble.
“Right now they are favourites to do it, so Brendan will want to get that out of the way. With him, he thinks game by game and the next trophy.
“But I believe he’s here to stay. His contract tells you that, with another few years left on it. I don’t think there is any issue on that front.
Rodgers won his first Treble with Celtic in 2017
“Obviously we don’t know for certain what’s happening at boardroom level and everything else that goes along with it, but I don’t think there is any offer out there at the minute that would tempt Brendan away.
“He’s managed big clubs, so it’s not about the money.
“No disrespect, but him being offered a big-money job elsewhere isn’t like someone at Livingston getting the chance to go to Celtic.
“I just think Brendan will want to create history.”
Hartson reckons Celtic will be unstoppable in their quest for ten-in-a-row if they can win title No8 this season.
He said: “If it goes to eight after Rangers having a go by appointing Steven Gerrard and bringing in 19 players this season then, for me, the next two will be inevitable because Celtic will strengthen their squad.
“They’ll probably bring in five or six new faces. Will Brendan still be there to bring them in? We don’t know for sure.
“I said last summer Celtic would win the title by 15 points and they’re eight ahead at the moment, so we’ll wait and see.
Rodgers on the touchline
“But my belief is that if they do finish first again, after having all those injuries to deal with, plus the situation with Dedryck Boyata, then that’s the sign of a good group.”
Celtic moved eight points clear of their rivals at the top of the table with Sunday’s late win over Kilmarnock.
But Hartson insists his old club still have work to do to seal their eighth straight title.
He added: “I wouldn’t say that Celtic have won the league because they still have to play Rangers and Aberdeen twice and there are loads of points to play for and tough venues to go to.
“When you look at Rangers, they beat Celtic comfortably at Ibrox in December, but the difference since the winter break has been telling.
“Celtic have reacted and responded and the players they have brought in — Timo Weah, Oli Burke and Jeremy Toljan — have all had an impact, whereas Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe haven’t made as big a mark as people would have thought by now.
“Celtic deserve a lot of credit for coming back from that defeat to Rangers as they were well beaten that day and had no excuses.
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“They clearly held their hands up and realised they had work to do. The Kilmarnock result is now a huge momentum shifter.
“Sometimes when you are up there you get that little bit of luck and the fans will feel it was a massive result.
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“It was all about getting the win and now Celtic just need to keep winning games.”
John Hartson was presenting a cheque for £20,000 on behalf of his Foundation to the Beatson Cancer Charity in Glasgow.
The Hartson Foundation is on course to crash through the £1million barrier this year for funds raised.
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