Rodgers on squad unity, 'specimen' Maeda and scoreboard pressure on Rangers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been speaking to the media ahead of his side's meeting with Hearts on Saturday.

Here are the key points:

  • Admits the mood was a bit "fragmented" in the earlier months of his second tenure, with some players perhaps doubting how long he'd be at the club, on top of Ange Postecoglou's departure and numerous injuries.

  • His manager of the month award is "testament" to the work his staff and players have done, but his focus is on "team awards" rather than individual ones.

  • "Specimen" Daizen Maeda has recovered "remarkably well" to be back in contention this weekend.

  • The SFA showed "courage" in admitting to mistakes the last time Celtic played Hearts in the VAR independent review, but it "doesn't change anything" for him.

  • Admits that Celtic can put "scoreboard pressure" on Rangers by going six points clear before their title rivals face Kilmarnock on Sunday.

  • "Delighted" to sign "stalwart" Liam Scales to a new four-year deal, hailing his reliability this term and turning his Celtic career around.

  • Rodgers would "love to keep" Greg Taylor at the club, who is heading into the final year of his contract.