11222017

Breaking 100-year-old British record an incredible feat – Rodgers

Celtic captain Scott Brown and manager Brendan Rodgers celebrate

Celtic captain Scott Brown and Brendan Rodgers were presented with a special bottle of champagne

Brendan Rodgers says it is an “incredible feat” for his Celtic side to break the club’s own British record of 62 domestic games undefeated.

The manager paid tribute to Willie Maley’s 1917 team, who were surpassed after a 4-0 win away to St Johnstone.

“Celtic holding that British record, it is special,” said Rodgers.

“It is an incredible feat by the players and a wonderful example of professionalism, of playing and creating high standards every day.”

Rodgers, a childhood Celtic fan, stressed that it was particularly special considering the quality of the side who had created the previous record 100 years ago.

“If you look back at that team Willie Maley had, I grew up being aware of players from that era, like Patsy Gallacher, so that tells you the level of quality of that team,” he told BBC Scotland before hailing the present side.

“They have faced everything as football players – going behind in games, playing on dodgy surfaces, playing on Astroturf pitches, being tired after games, going behind in games, semi-finals, finals.

“It hasn’t just happened overnight. It is something that’s been created – a mentality and a desire to work.

Celtic players celebrate with their fans<!–

Celtic’s players celebrated with their fans at McDiarmid Park

“The level of consistency is absolutely remarkable. As the run goes on, teams increase their level even more.

“Every game against Celtic is a massive game. Everyone wants to be the team that beats Celtic.”

Celtic won the domestic treble last season and Rodgers realises that some are predicting they can go another season undefeated by a Scottish team.

“People will look at that and think yes because of the consistency and level, but it only takes something to happen in the game for it to go against you – a bad decision or make a mistake,” he said.

“But we don’t tend to think about that. If you worry about that and you try to forecast what you will do in football, it is dangerous territory.

“My job is to ensure that the players are never complacent.”

Rodgers recognises that the run will come to an end eventually.

“That will happen at some point, but how the players are coping with that and the level of their football is admirable,” he said.

St Johnstone drop to seventh place on goal difference behind Hearts, but manager Tommy Wright stressed the difference in resources between his club and Celtic.

“They have better players and are better all over the park and I can’t be too critical of my players,” he said.

“You have to say Celtic are at a different level even against the bigger clubs in this league and certainly at a different level to a club of our size.”

Saints have now gone six games without scoring, but Wright did not think the heads had gone down.

“I don’t think it is a lack of belief,” he said. “I just think we’re making the wrong decisions at the minute.

“There were a couple of opportunities on the break in the second half where the final pass let us down.

“We knew it was going to be difficult, but I’ve got to be disappointed that we concede off a corner at the first goal, which is always important against Celtic.”

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