Brendan Rodgers has refused to criticise the Celtic fans for their controversial banner criticising him.
The Northern Irish manager swapped Scottish for English football earlier in the week when he decided to replace Claude Puel as Leicester manager.Embed from Getty Images
That’s a decision that has led to widespread criticism from the fans – with some unveiling a banner which labelled Rodgers as ‘a fraud’ at the start of Wednesday’s game against Hearts at Tynecastle.
Despite the strong reaction, Rodgers has refused to criticise the Celtic fans and believes a sense of perspective should emerge in the coming months or years.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of his first game in charge of Leicester against Watford on Sunday, Rodgers said: “Words you always have to be careful with.
“I try not to focus on too much. I seen the banner and, like I say, the Celtic supporters were hurting.
“This is a worldwide fanbase, it’s an incredible support, they give me everything so I’m not going to say anything other than that.
“It’s a moment when there was a shock and they were probably angry, but I think, eventually, there will be a reality will set in and hopefully the work that we did there will be appreciated.
“This may be a little unfair on Leicester City because I don’t think I’ve swapped for a mediocre club.
“This is a fantastic club with a real, rich history of its own – and obviously its recent history has been incredible. For me to come in here, they have that ambition to push higher than where we are.
“It’s something that was difficult, but a decision I made from a career perspective.”
Rodgers was pressed on the timing issue and whether or not he could wait until the summer to take the job.
When asked if he could have waited, Rodgers said: “No, it wouldn’t have waited until the summer, I believe.
“The club had to make a decision in terms of where they were at and, of course, the intention was to bring in someone permanent.
“When they spoke to Celtic, they made it clear I was their only choice which then means I had a decision to make so it wouldn’t have waited.”
Rodgers will be in charge of Leicester against Watford for the first time on Sunday.