Brendan Rodgers on Celtic non negotiable vs Rangers as he makes demand of stars

Brendan Rodgers has outlined the non-negotiable for his Celtic stars this weekend in their title decider against Rangers.

The manager understands exactly how important this clash is likely to be when it comes to the league trophy and he won't have any passengers on the pitch at Parkhead come 12.30pm on Saturday afternoon. After his side dominated Hearts with arguably their best 90 minutes of the season last weekend, Rodgers was pleased with their workrate as well as his players' desire and pressing effort.

But that - especially on derby day - cannot be taken for granted. It's the one element of his side's game that he will simply not accept anything less than 100 percent.

“It is, but it’s not a choice. It’s an obligation and what you have to do," he said.

“We are a running team and when we run and penetrate, press and counter-press, that’s our game. And when we take our game to that level then we play the game to a good level. That was the pleasing aspect, that defensive pressure.

“We were playing a good Hearts team who have done very well this season. They like to build the game, to build through the pitch and they’ve got some dangerous players.

“But I felt after that first 20 minutes or so, we got our pressing right. Everyone collectively was synchronised and moving together with and without the ball. That culminates in a good performance.”

Rodgers added: “I said it after the last time we played at Ibrox, this game was going to be crucial for us playing in front of our own supporters. I still feel exactly the same.

“The preparation is very much based around ourselves but always respecting the opponent – what they might bring to the game – but looking at how we play and, ultimately, our process.”