Liel Abada ‘possibly’ on the move this summer

Brendan Rodgers was speaking to the media ahead of Saturday afternoon’s visit of Derek McInnes’ Kilmarnock. Kilmarnock has already claimed a Green and White scalp twice this season, with two victories at Rugby Park showing that the Ayrshire side may have the potential to be the bogey team for Brendan Rodgers.

Brendan Rodgers will be eager to level things at 2 wins apiece tomorrow afternoon, with Celtic holding a victory over Killie at Celtic Park earlier in the season with goals coming from Reo Hatate, Luis Palma and Greg Taylor.

Here is a summary of the key talking points from Brendan Rodgers’ pre-match press conference.

Injury Updates
Celtic have been plagued with injuries for the entirety of this season, with key players such as Cameron Carter-Vickers, Reo Hatate and Liel Abada all falling to the wayside with long-term injuries.

Reo Hatate is still currently out of the equation at the moment, with 4-5 weeks to go until the Japanese midfielder can return to the fold.

Cameron Carter-Vickers will rejoin the squad next week, whilst Greg Taylor is back for this game. The former Killie man was touch and go for the trip to Paisley last week with Alexandro Bernabei ultimately starting, but Taylor will be expected to return to the starting eleven tomorrow.

On the opposite flank, Alistair Johnston was stretchered off after a scary head knock at Easter Road last Wednesday. He won’t be in contention for a start tomorrow, but Rodgers hopes he will be back with the squad over the next week or so.

Rodgers didn’t comment on whether Johnston would be sporting a protective mask much like Callum McGregor donned a few seasons ago.

Abada Leaving in the Summer?
There has been a lot of noise surrounding Liel Abada over the last few weeks. with the Celtic supports’ continued showings of solidarity with the Palestinian people leading to outrage from back in Abada’s homeland of Israel.

Calls have come from his national team boss as well as thousands of Israeli football fans on his social media posts calling for him the leave the Parkhead club, all things that have led to Rodgers admitting Abada isn’t in the right frame of mind at the moment.

Rodgers said that he will always put the player first, honing in on the fact that family is far more important than football will ever be.

The key talking point though was Rodgers admission that Abada could possibly move on in the summer, whether that be a permanent move or a loan move.

Addressing the ‘Narrative’
When in conversation with Neil Lennon and Jim Goodwin on Viaplay Sports following Celtic’s victory over St Mirren in the Scottish Cup fifth round, Rodgers spoke on a narrative being built around the club in the media.

When asked on his comments by a reporters, Rodgers continued to dismiss the narrative that is being pushed. Despite the team slipping up at the beginning of December, Rodgers commented on the fact that Celtic have won eight out of a possible nine matches since the loss to Hearts at Parkhead.

Referencing his time as Liverpool boss, he commented that in a city that holds a great footballing rivalry, one team always has to be doing good and one team always has to be doing badly.

Whilst he can’t control the narrative, he can control the mindset of his team, and the importance is there for his team to remain laser-focused this season with a Scottish Cup still up for grabs and a title race still well and truly underway.

Leave a Reply