Ashley Loses Rafa Replacement!

Last updated : 21 May 2016 By Footy Mad - Editor

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Celtic could not have picked a better man to become their new boss than Brendan Rodgers, according to former Parkhead boss John Barnes.

The former Liverpool manager has signed a 12-month rolling contract after agreeing to replace Ronny Deila.

His first task will be to guide the Hoops through the qualifying stages for the Champions League but he will also have to fend off the challenge presented by Rangers on their return to the top flight.

But one-time Anfield favourite Barnes is confident he has what it takes to ensure the Hoops flourish.

He told Press Association Sport: "I think it is a fantastic appointment for Celtic and I think he'll do a great job.

"I was actually with Brendan over in Dubai about a month ago and he was telling me he was looking forward to getting back in.

"Celtic wasn't on the horizon at that point and he didn't mention any clubs but I could tell he was keen to get started.

"He still has the hunger and the appetite so it's great for both parties as far as I can see.

"He will not view it as a step down, despite what others will think. Celtic is a huge club. They are guaranteed European football but it will be much tougher going forward now that Rangers are back up.

"However, they are in the Champions League and I'm sure Brendan would want to pit his wits against the big sides there.

"The way he plays football, the fans can expect a very exciting brand of football. They can look forward to a great spectacle because he does like to play attacking football. In terms of playing the Celtic way, they couldn't pick a better man for the job."

Rodgers will have just eight weeks to get his side prepared for their Champions League assault, with their second qualifying round first leg scheduled for July 12 or 13.

But the 43-year-old has already vowed to make his mark in Europe.

He told the club's official website: "The club has been in magnificent shape in recent years and has collected silverware regularly during this time.

"My objective now, of course, is to continue this work, to keep us at the top and again make our mark in Europe.

"I have followed Celtic all my life and to be given this fantastic opportunity and to be part of such a truly great football club is a dream come true.

"I will give my new role everything I have and do all I can to bring our supporters exciting, entertaining and winning football.

"I know what a magnificent support Celtic enjoys and I can promise our fans one thing - that I will be doing everything I can to give you a team that you can be proud of and a team that delivers.

"I can't wait to be in Paradise (Celtic Park) with our team and our fans as we all get to work."