Celtic V Aberdeen at Celtic Park : Match Preview

31 January 2017
Celtic V Aberdeen - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Brendan Rodgers hails 'brilliant job' done by Derek McInnes at Aberdeen

Brendan Rodgers has paid tribute to Derek McInnes ahead of Aberdeen's visit to Celtic Park on Wednesday night.

The Dons have provided the biggest threat to the Hoops' Ladbrokes Premiership title dominance in recent seasons albeit their battle this season is with Rangers for second place, with the Ibrox men back in the top flight after a four-year absence.

Runaways leaders Celtic are 22 points clear of their Old Firm rivals and a further two ahead of Aberdeen but Rodgers is impressed with the work manager McInnes has done at Pittodrie.

The Hoops boss said: "Derek has done a brilliant job there. I don't think they have a training ground to train at.

"So it is remarkable the job he has done, to get players there, to commit to what he is doing.

"My focus has primarily been on ourselves but even though we have played them three times and won three times, they have all been tough games in different ways so we expect no different."

Celtic are looking to extend their unbeaten domestic record since the start of the season to 28 games against the Dons.

The 4-0 win over Hearts at the weekend meant Rodgers' side went one better than Jock Stein's side of 1966/67 which won the European Cup and every other competition they entered.

The former Swansea and Liverpool boss said: "You think of the great players and great players so for us to stand alone as a team, the players have opened up a new page in the history of Glasgow Celtic and now it is up to us to continue writing the next part of this club's great history.

"And for that, it is pretty straightforward.

"We just continue to do what we have been doing, which is train very hard and be super-professional in our approach.

"People in the game, coaches, manager, players, will tell you it is not an easy feat to achieve but this group has shown a remarkable application to their work and that has allowed them to go into games prepared.

"It is a really special achievement but we have to keep going as long as we can."

Aberdeen manager McInnes does not expect Celtic to drop down a gear now they have beaten the Lisbon Lions' 50-year-old record.

And he has urged his team to make sure they go to Parkhead determined to end Celtic's unbeaten record rather than hoping for a result.

"The focus from the Celtic team has been there and that comes from the manager," McInnes said.

"I'm sure there's another record they will want. I think they are already talking about trying to go through the whole season undefeated. I'm sure that's something privately they will have in their minds.

"It would be wrong to think their focus won't be there because they have broken a record.

"That's something that has been an identity of this Celtic team, that they have had a focus in each and every game, because it isn't easy to do that run, regardless of how good a team you are.

"So we have our work cut out, no question, but our aim is to go down there and make them work for everything they get and really bring a performance that they know they are in a game.

"I feel we are a team that's capable of that. I just want us to be that team and be brave with our work: commit to our pressing, commit to getting on the ball and be confident Aberdeen players, and set out to get a result, not just hoping to get a result."