Brendan Rodgers has hailed Steven Gerrard’s arrival at Celtic’s arch-rivals Rangers but laid bare the demands on an Old Firm manager.
Gerrard was on Friday handed a four-year contract by Rangers – he will take over at the end of the season – and is tasked with ending a period of Celtic dominance that has seen the club claim the last seven league titles.
Rodgers, who worked with Gerrard during his spell at Liverpool, was pleased to welcome his former charge to Glasgow and is looking forward to the pair locking horns.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s trip to Hearts, Rodgers said: “Welcome to the land of no sleep! His role will be to make it work, my job is to try and make sure it doesn’t.
“I’m delighted for him because he’s obviously had an incredible career, wanted to go into management and coaching and now he gets the opportunity to do that.
“I’m happy that he enters into my world of coaching and managing.
“As a guy he was ultra-professional and had incredible quality as a footballer.
“That level of professionalism he had all his career made him the great player he was. He’ll take that into management and it’s something he’ll look to impose on his team.”
BR on Steven Gerrard becoming a manager: “Welcome to the land of no sleep! His role will be to make it work, my job is to try and make sure it doesn’t.”
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) May 4, 2018
Celtic’s recent monopoly of honours in Scotland has inevitably led to claims the Scottish Premiership lacks global appeal, but Rodgers is confident Gerrard’s arrival will spark renewed interest.
He added: “It’s fantastic for the profile of the league.
“I’ve enjoyed my time up here and it’s certainly authentic in terms of the football. A lot of very honest guys and fantastic coaches. He’ll identify with the passion.
“He’ll enjoy it and want to do well with his team – and that’s the only thing I can’t wish him the very best with!”
Gerrard revealed he had not talked to Rodgers prior to taking the job.
The 37-year-old said: “I haven’t spoken to Brendan recently but we are fine, we’ve always been fine and I’m ready for the challenge.
“I knew straight away from the phone call I wanted to look into it but, of course, I’ve spoken to friends and family and people in the game I’m tight with. I won’t give any names.”
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