Celtic: Brendan Rodgers says artificial pitches are not ideal

New Douglas Park
Celtic will play on the New Douglas Park 3G pitch on Friday

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers believes artificial surfaces affect the quality of football played on them.

Rodgers accepts the reasons clubs in Scotland - such as Hamilton Academical, who host his side on Saturday - opt for 3G pitches rather than natural grass.

However he insists they "aren't ideal" for players or supporters.

"I've yet to see a good game on a plastic pitch," he said. "Any coach or manager will tell you it's always a different game on a plastic pitch."

Celtic have already played on an artificial pitch this season - when they defeated Kilmarnock at Rugby Park - and Rodgers says the playing surface will not influence his team selection.

Stuart Armstrong scores
Stuart Armstrong scored the only goal as Celtic won at Killie last month

"I respect the conditions for every club are different," he explained. "Hamilton are a club that has produced many great young players, so they have a way of working that works for them and that's fine.

"In global football, most people will tell you that plastic pitches aren't ideal, and that's where you feel for supporters because are they seeing the best game of football possible?

"We have to be professional and get the job done. It's about going there and getting a result. It brings lots of different elements to the game, unpredictability that you wouldn't see in normal circumstances.

"It's going to be a difficult challenge for us, Hamilton were tough to break down the last time we played and it's on an astro turf pitch, which makes it even more difficult."

Rodgers, who hopes to have midfielder Tom Rogic back in time to face Rangers on 31 December, expects to reshape his squad during the January transfer window, with players arriving and leaving.

However, he has yet to make a decision about extending 33-year-old Kris Commons' loan spell at Hibernian.

Kris Commons and Brendan Rodgers
Commons (left) has not featured in the Celtic first team since Rodgers took charge in the summer

"We have a month [of the transfer window], and the first three weeks we'll be resting for a little bit and working very hard in some warm weather," Rodgers said in reference to the winter break.

"I expect us to do some business, [whether it's] the beginning or the end, as long as it's done that's all I'm really concerned about.

"There will be [players leaving], that's a natural way when players aren't playing so much, especially if they're mid-20s and beyond. They want to play regularly. Some will come in to help the squad that's already here.

"I can't have any complaints about any player, the attitude. We've got a number who are outside the squad, but their professionalism and devotion to what we're doing here - they're at the best weight they've ever been - is a huge testament to them.

"I'll sit with Kris, I'll talk to [Hibs head coach] Neil [Lennon] and between us all we'll come up with the best solution for Kris. At his age he needs to be playing games."

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