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29th Jun 2017

Brendan Rodgers explains why he gave a Celtic debut to his son on Wednesday

Anton Rodgers gave a good account of himself

Darragh Murphy

Imagine the stick Brendan Rodgers would have received if his son had a stinker during his first appearance in a Celtic shirt.

Luckily, the Hoops boss didn’t have that problem because Anton Rodgers, by all accounts, performed admirably when he was sent on as a second-half substitute during the Scottish champions’ pre-season friendly with BW Linz on Wednesday afternoon.

Supporters were actually impressed by what the young midfielder brought to the table and, although his appearance in the No. 13 shirt was initially mocked by fans on social media, Rodgers didn’t take long to prove that he could indeed play.

Having been let go by Swindon Town this summer, it’s understood that the 24-year-old is merely hoping to maintain his fitness levels with Celtic before hopefully being snapped up by an English club in the transfer window.

Rodgers’ father defended the decision to field the former Chelsea youth player when speaking after the game.

“In fairness, Anton has come with us to train and get in good condition for when the English season starts, but we had a few injuries to Eboue Kouassi and Kristoffer Ajer and one or two others,” the Celtic boss said, via the Scottish Sun.

“Anton is a capable player, he’s not just here as my son. He’s here because he can cope and is technically very gifted.

“He has a good view of the game and can pass the ball and to play for us you obviously need to be able to do that.

“Given we were short of numbers he was able to go in and play.

“I thought without really knowing the other players he did well.”

For those supporters who were won over by Rodgers and held out hope that he might be offered a deal at Celtic Park, we’ve got bad news for you.

“It’s never been the case of that,” Brodge insisted.

“We have a lot of midfield players and it’s maybe different types we need. He always wants the ball and is very good on set-pieces.

“He has confidence to play, but it’s never been a notion to sign him. It’s just to give him a couple of weeks and then he can see where the next venture is.

“His son lives down in Reading, so the ideal scenario is that he finds a club close to where he lives, but this has been a real good exercise for him.”