How Brendan Rodgers won over the Celtic support once again

If you told Celtic fans back in February of 2019 that they would be chanting Brendan Rodgers’ name less than five years later after a victory at Tynecastle, they would have called you crazy.

That was the scene on Sunday afternoon, though, as Celtic ran out 4-1 winners against Hearts at Tynecastle, with Matt O’Riley, Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi and Tomoki Iwata all getting on the score-sheet.

Even when he returned to replace Ange Postecoglou in June, sections of the fanbase were unhappy. How, then, did the Celtic fans grow to accept Rodgers once again and how has the Irishman won back the Celtic support?


Early quotes

Fans waited eagerly in anticipation for Brendan Rodgers’ first press conference as Celtic manager and Rodgers’ honesty and empathy was evident as he said, “I certainly don’t regret it but what I do regret is the hurt it caused people. And that’s the very reason I’m sitting here today.

“As a Celtic supporter, I understood what it meant, and probably even more so when I left. That was my regret, that I hurt people who were Celtic supporters, and that was a big part of coming back.”

Rodgers clearly didn’t leave Celtic the way he wanted to, and many fans were taken aback by his promises to stay at Celtic for the entirety of the three years on his contract.

Late drama and euphoria

Celtic endured a tricky start to the season, exiting the Viaplay Cup in the second round against Kilmarnock as well as dropping some early points in the cinch Premiership. This wasn’t helped by the injury crisis that hampered Celtic’s options, but all of these contributing factors made the big wins even sweeter.

The team had been written off and seen as underdogs heading into a trip to Ibrox, but a well-organised tactical setup from Rodgers, as well as some gutsy performances from those on the park, secured the win.

That victory was massive for Rodgers and it helped restore the feel-good factor back at Celtic Park when many were doubtful following the departure of Ange Postecoglou.

Results like the late win at Fir Park against Motherwell and the scenes that followed Matt O’Riley’s winner only added to the euphoric atmosphere surrounding the club, meaning it was hard for supporters to try and maintain any sort of animosity towards the manager.

As much as Rodgers could have won the support of the fans with his early quotes, ultimately all that the fans care about is the results on the park.

Appearance at St Roch’s Centenary Match

Brendan Rodgers strolled on to the pitch at James McGrory Park at half-time of the Candy’s centenary game against the Celtic Select team curated by A Celtic State of Mind.

Rodgers didn’t have to appear – he had been on a short break abroad – but he travelled straight to the match from the airport before taking the time to ensure every fan got an autograph or a photograph in what was an extremely kind gesture of good faith from the Celtic manager.

Moments like that show the genuine passion he has for the club and our fanbase, and that is a huge reason behind him regaining the respect and support of a great many of the fans once again.


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