Celtic boss appears to take subtle dig at Chris Sutton

Celtic v Livingston - Scottish Cup
Celtic v Livingston - Scottish Cup / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Brendan Rodgers has had to face a ton of criticism in recent times as he has seen Celtic fall behind the Rangers in the Premiership title race. Not just that, but at no point this season have the Hoops looked to be performing at a high level consistently. It is quite clear that the Northern Irishman has a lot to work on.

A lot of the criticism that Rodgers has received is pretty understandable. But at the same time, some of it might not be.

In the recent loss to Hearts, Daniel Kelly was brought on as a substitute when the Hoops were down to 10 men. And Chris Sutton was not a fan of the decision. In his column in the Daily Record, he described it as 'no environment' for the midfielder.

Rodgers has decided to back his decision to play on the day though. As reported by 67 Hail Hail, the manager said in a media conference on the club's YouTube channel:

"I read somewhere the other week, that we were actually being criticised for bringing a young player into the team which I find incredible. We bring Daniel Kelly on against Hearts – it was supposedly not what should’ve been done.

“Thankfully I look after the short and the longer term of the club, and that’s bringing young players in to develop, to improve, give them that experience and then hopefully they become better players because they need to get that experience.

“Hopefully, we can do that in the coming years, get those players in to help support the team and eventually become first-team players. That’s something that I will always focus on."

Celtic boss appears to take subtle dig at Sutton

Kelly seems to be someone who Rodgers rates very highly. He has featured in each of the club's previous three games, albeit as a substitute.

If Callum McGregor remains out injured for any significant length of time, Kelly is expected to get a lot more playing time moving forward. Let's see how things play out in the regard.

To be honest, playing when Celtic were chasing the game and down to ten players might actually have been a good learning experience for Kelly. As a youngster, he needs to put in as many situations as possible in order to develop and improve.

Now, there is a matter of coming on and not making the desired impact while Celtic were chasing the game. But for now, there does not seem to be a lot of pressure on Kelly from the fans.