What Celtic players REALLY took from Brendan Rodgers' 'fun' as Rangers mind games decoded in national debate

Andros Townsend reckons the Celtic stars will know they can't just "have fun" during their clash with Rangers after Brendan Rodgers pre-derby comments.

Philippe Clement has taken issue with the Celtic gaffer following his comments after their win over Hearts with the Irishman hyping up his side for being "on fire" in the build-up to the Old Firm showdown and told the Scottish Premiership leaders to have fun against their rivals. Clement declared the comments were disrespectful to his side as he took on his foe just days before the top of the table blockbuster.

But the Luton Town star reckons that the message inside Lennoxtown in the build-up to the game will be very different - and that the Hoops' stars will be taking no notice of the media mind games between the two Old Firm bosses before the Celtic Park showdown. Asked if the Celtic players would be paying attention to anything said by Rodgers following the win over Hearts, Townsend told BBC's Monday Night Club: “No, I think half the time it’s just mind games.

Celtic’s Callum McGregor leads the team after the win against Hearts
Celtic’s Callum McGregor leads the team after the win against Hearts -Credit:PA

"It’s just a way to get one up on your opponent. If Brendan Rodgers thinks his side is going in to one of the fiercest derbies in recent times to have fun he has another thing coming.

"I think it’s just mind games, and he will probably have come out of that interview and said to the boys ‘listen, I said one thing to the media and I don’t mean it - I mean this, I mean that’ - that is half the battle. It’s mind games in the press conference - so I wouldn’t read too much into that.”