Glasgow (AFP) – Brendan Rodgers says his job has only begun in terms of bringing Celtic success having landed the Premiership title on Sunday and improve their fortunes in Europe.
Rodgers’ side, 25 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen, set a new Scottish top-flight record as the earliest ever champions after wrapping it up with eight games remaining.
Rodgers, whose side face Partick Thistle on Wednesday aiming to preserve their unbeaten domestic record, says he has no intention of moving on despite being linked with a return to the English Premier League.
He is especially keen to improve Celtic’s Champions League record which saw them fail to win once in their group stage ths season having begun with a humiliating defeat in the first leg of qualification to Gibraltar part-timers Lincoln Red Imps.
“I’m super ambitious and I told the players that when I came, but I have ambition for myself and for them to be the very best that we can be,” he said.
“All I can say is that I’m very, very happy in every aspect of my life — I’m in my dream job. That’s the reality of it.
“I signed a four-year contract with Liverpool and 18 months later I was fired. I’m at the stage now where I probably appreciate more what I have.
“I’ve worked with many clubs in the past, but it’s got a different feeling here.”
Rodgers, who could seal a domestic treble if Celtic go on to win the Scottish Cup but first face a fiery semi-final with bitter Glasgow rivals Rangers who are hurting after a disappointing return to the top flight, said he had a lot to improve Celtic’s fortunes.
“I said when I came that, when I move on from here, whether the club move me on or I decide to go, I want this club to be in a better place,” Rodgers said.
“I’m nowhere near that stage – I’ve got a lot left to fulfil here,” added the 44-year-old Northern Irishman.
With the title tied up, Rodgers hinted he may rest some players for the rest of the league campaign, but defender Mikel Lustig is confident the club have a big enough squad to allow them to maintain their undefeated record.
“It is going to be tough and we have to stay humble and remain focused, but we’ve got a big squad and people coming in who can do the job,” Lustig said.
“It doesn’t matter that we have won the league.
“We will focus again on Partick Thistle on Wednesday and getting three points there.”
Fixtures (1845GMT kick-offs)
Aberdeen v Inverness CT, Ross County v Dundee
Celtic v Partick Thistle, Kilmarnock v Rangers
Motherwell v Hamilton, St Johnstone v Hearts