Chris Sutton reacts to Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers hitting back over his 'through the motions' complaint

Chris Sutton has responded after Brendan Rodgers reacted to his criticism from earlier in the season.

After the weekend victory over Rangers, the Celtic boss seemed to suggest that he felt he hasn't had the credit he's deserved since returning to Parkhead for a second spell. And the Northern Irishman hit back at Sutton's claims he had been "going through the motions" earlier in the campaign by underlining how much he puts into his work and the sacrifices he makes to help make the club a success.

Rodgers said: "I heard someone saying 'Brendan Rodgers is going through the motions', earlier on in the season. I get into work between 7.30am and 8am every day of my life. I leave the training ground every night between 6.30pm and 7pm at night. When I get home I have my dinner and flip open my computer and look at more football.

"If that's going through the motions, I want to know what every other manager is doing. What is every other manager doing if I'm going through the motions?

"So from a personal level, I've been treated like a novice since I've come back here, like it's my first job. However, my principle objective is to make sure Celtic win. Part of that is the criticism and I understand that, but it's the mentality of the team that's most important to me.

"That mentality you can see from where we were with injuries, how we've progressed, stayed together, unified, and how we then get to this point where we're nearly crossing the finish line. We don't just want to cross it we want to sprint over it, we've got two games to go plus the final. That is our mentality."

Sutton admits Rodgers had every right to hit back at him but had also defended his own right to be critical early in the season when Celtic weren't churning out the results they are now.

He told the Daily Record: “Brendan has a right to his opinion, just the same as I have a right to mine. At that time when I used that phrase, Celtic were playing poorly, even in some games they were winning. They didn’t look at it and I said that is the manager’s responsibility.

“Celtic had just lost back-to-back Premiership matches to Kilmarnock and Hearts with weak performances. A lot of people mentioned the displays were not good enough. Even Santa got booed! Judging by what I was seeing at that time, that’s what I felt, so that’s what I said.

“I’m not going to hide or just say nice things about Celtic all the time because I played for them. That’s not what I get paid for. I get paid to say it as I see it and that goes for every club, Rangers, Aberdeen, Hearts, anyone in Scotland or in England.

“Brendan has made reference to it after the Rangers win and that’s perfectly fair for him to do so, just as it’s perfectly fair for me to voice an opinion. Celtic are going to win the title now and that’s what Brendan was brought back to Celtic to do, so that deserves praise.

“Rangers have fallen apart in the past month and Brendan has got his team playing at the right time when Philippe Clement has not. Important players have returned and he’s lifted the performances and the results at a vital stage of the season. That’s worthy of great credit.

“Brendan seemed to suggest prior to the Rangers game that some people had chosen to ignore the fact he had key players were missing in stages during the season, I didn’t. I referenced it consistently, just as I referenced the fact I expected him to get more out of the squad in some games without them."