Brendan Rodgers bites back at Celtic style accusers as sweetest title triumph vindicates boss' unwavering faith

Title winner Brendan Rodgers has hit back at the critics who questioned the style of his Celtic side following his appointment as Ange Postecoglou’s successor.

Rodgers wrapped up the top flight crown at Rugby Park on Wednesday night when the rampant champions romped to a 5-0 win over Kilmarnock to move six points clear at the top of the table with only one league game remaining. The 51-year-old has described this triumph as the sweetest of his managerial career, having come back to Glasgow’s east end last summer following Postecoglou's decision to quit for Spurs.

And Rodgers admits he was stung by the initial negative reaction to his return as well as the accusation that his team had lost some of the attacking swagger that became its trademark under the Aussie. The man who led Celtic to 10 straight domestic trophies during his first stint in charge said: “When I look back on the titles we’ve won here they’ve all been special in their own way but this here has definitely been the most challenging, for so many reasons - and some outside football.

“I’ve never had my style focused on so much. As a coach who broke through and became a young manager at 35, one my key references has always been my style.

“So to come here and have the accusation about my style not fitting felt strange. But I knew from seeing the players and what the team was missing, it would come. And now we look like we are at the beginning of the season. And I don’t think anyone could complain about the style of football they saw at Kilmarnock on that surface.”

Rodgers was serenaded by the same hard core Celtic support which turned against him in vitriol following his move to Leicester City five years ago, at a time when he was on the verge of securing nine-in-a-row. And he insists, even though it’s taken time to win them back around, he was always sure of his ability to deliver.

He said: “Every season you have is a learning season and I think that there are all the things flying about. Things like, ‘He’s never been in a pressure situation before,’ and ‘He’s never had this challenge before,’.

“All these things get thrown at you but I never doubt. I have complete faith in my work and in what I do. It was just about time - and we came through when it mattered.”