John Stones has admitted that he has a lot of respect for Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers as his Manchester City side prepare to face the Hoops in the Champions League on Wednesday, the Daily Express reports.
Stones is no stranger to preparing for high-pressure battles against Rodgers’ sides, having taken part in several Merseyside derbies during his time with Everton while the Northern Irishman was in charge at Liverpool.
And ahead of their respective new sides’ meeting this week, Stones has conceded that his team have plenty of admiration for the current Bhoys boss.
“I have come up against Brendan and he has a lot of experience in the game and I faced him a few times when he was at Liverpool and we have a lot of respect for him,” he said, as reported by the Express.
“It is an exciting game for me personally. We will work hard and get ready for it.”
From the Citizens’ perspective, it is important that they take the Scottish Premiership side seriously. Though Celtic lost 7-0 to Barcelona on the opening matchday, while the Sky Blues have won every game they have played across all competitions, they will know that there is enough quality in the Hoops’ squad to capitalise on any complacency Pep Guardiola’s men show.
Having surely expected to lose to Barca, it seems unlikely that Celtic’s confidence received that much of a dent now that result is in the past, especially as they thrashed Kilmarnock 6-1 at the weekend.
And while Manchester City obviously present a much tougher test than Killie, Rodgers will surely be reminding his players what they can be capable of as they seek to cause an upset.