In Focus: Upcoming schedule as tough as it gets for Rodgers’ Celtic

As reported by The Daily Record, Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon has backed Brendan Rodgers to get the right squad balance over the next month as the Hoops enter a critical and heavy schedule in three competitions.

What’s the story?

Celtic return to action after the international break tomorrow against Dundee at Celtic Park and while three points are vital in that one, it’s challenges ahead that most Hoops fans are thinking of.

Rodgers’ team will play a massive six matches before the end of the month in the league, the Scottish League Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Craig Gordon recognises the difficulty of that schedule, especially coming off an international break, but reckons the Celtic boss can rotate the squad while continuing their excellent winning form.

As quoted by The Daily Record, the goalkeeper said:

Of course, it is tiring for the boys who are playing at international level, with European club football and also domestic football. There are some who are doing more miles than others. Some are doing more travelling. But it’s up to the manager to rotate the squad and give people rests when he can and when he feels that it is the right time, while still being able to maintain the winning record. It’s a juggling act for him, but we have good players.

With a number of players unavailable for selection against Dundee including the likes of Jozo Simunovic, Stuart Armstrong and Scott Brown, it’s vital the players coming in can reach the levels those stars set.

Finding balance

The tricky thing for Rodgers in resting players and trying to find a balance between competitiveness and recovery is that almost every match coming up is a real battle.

There’s a trip to Bayern Munich next Wednesday, with a national semi-final against Hibernian, who nearly beat them a couple of weeks ago, coming just days later. After that it’s a top of the table clash away to Aberdeen mid-week under the lights at Pittodrie which is a difficult prospect in itself. Bayern Munich again loom on the horizon in the wake of that clash, with Kilmarnock providing the league warm-up for the Germans.

It’s tremendously difficult at the best of times but with influential players carrying injuries and others still returning to full fitness, it really is something of a headache for the Celtic boss.

Of course they’ve overcome adversity and heavy schedules before, but if they see the end of October still in good form at home and abroad, the praise of his management could reach new heights.