Brendan Rodgers unconcerned by domestic rivals

Rodgers unconcerned by domestic rivals
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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says that he is unconcerned by the performance of his rivals in the Scottish Premiership.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted that he is not bothered by the relative performance of other sides in the Scottish Premiership.

During the Northern Irishman's first season in charge at Celtic Park last term, the Hoops stormed to the title in unbeaten fashion, with a 30-point lead over nearest challengers Aberdeen and a 39-point advantage over fierce rivals Rangers.

Celtic go into the new season strong favourites to retain their title, but Rodgers insists that he will only be focusing on the "standard" that his own team sets over the course of the campaign.

"Our measure is that we want to be the best we can be. We know what it takes to compete in European football. That's our measure," he told The Guardian. "Some people will say we need a strong Rangers, strong Aberdeen, strong Hibs – but that's no good if you're not strong.

"Our standard we set ourselves, no one else helps us set it. That was my approach last year when I came in and it was exactly the same throughout the season. For people on the outside looking in, there's maybe not so much to write about when the gap is 20 points or 39 points. But for us we set our standard.

"I think it is great of course for the game if you have that – a team one point ahead or whatever – but it is not going to define how I work every day. I always try to work at a world-class level. That is then the demand for the player. I don't need, with all due respect, to know what Rangers are doing or Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts to motivate me. I'm not going to have a lazy day because we are winning by 20 points."

Celtic begin the new season today with a home encounter against Hearts.

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