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Saturday 10 December 2016

Rodgers' focus is not on individuals

Leigh Griffiths
Leigh Griffiths

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers will continue to prioritise the bigger picture rather than worry about shoe-horning individuals into his team.

Rodgers was speaking in relation to the prospect of pairing Leigh Griffiths (pictured right) with Moussa Dembele more often after the pair combined for the winning goal against Rangers in the Betfred Cup semi-finals on Sunday. Griffiths has not started a game for club or country since aggravating a hamstring injury against Aberdeen on August 27, with Dembele taking on the mantle of Celtic's main goalscorer.

But the Scotland international has joined Dembele for the latter stages of the last five matches, including Sunday's Hampden clash.

"It's something that worked well for us in the game," Rodgers said. "It just depends on the game.

"I'm not worried by the individuals. I've got great individual players, the job of myself and the coaching staff is to pick the best team, and the best team is going to get us the results. Up until now, it's gone okay. Whoever plays, they are asked to do the job and thus far they have been doing it very well."

The Celtic manager might be tempted to make some changes for tonight's Scottish Premiership encounter against Ross County in Dingwall, given Celtic also face away games at Aberdeen and Borussia Monchengladbach in the subsequent six days.

"You always have to think about it, you are periodising your games and looking at the rest in between," the former Liverpool boss said. "The players have been first class in their recovery strategies in order to be ready for the next game. But you have to be mindful of it, it's a long season, we have played a lot of games with many more in front of us.

"But when you're at a big club like Celtic and are competing for honours, then that's what you expect, you expect to be involved in a lot of games.

"But where we can minimise the loading for certain players, that's what we will do."

Ross County v Celtic, tonight (7.45), live BT Sport 1

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