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There were a couple of minor incidents- Rodgers lays down the law

Alexandro Bernabei was dropped out of the Celtic squad for the SPFL opener against Ross County because he was late for a team meeting.

The defender rounded off an impressive pre-season by scoring against Athletic Bilbao last Tuesday but was posted missing from the side that kicked off the title defence four days later.

There was no obvious back up to Greg Taylor among the nine substitutes which included three of the five summer signings with Maik Nawrocki making his debut.

No explanation was given at the time for Bernabei’s absence but in the Daily Record Scott Burns writes:

The left-back was late for a team meeting after sleeping in and was left out of last Saturday’s flag-raising win over Ross County.

The no-nonsense Celtic boss is a stickler for the highest standards on and off the pitch. Rodgers has made it clear to the Argentine defender that not being punctual and one time for a pre-match gathering was not acceptable. The 22-year-old paid the price by missing the 4-2 triumph over County.

Bernabei now faces an anxious wait to see if he can force his way back into his manager’s squad and thinking for the weekend clash at Aberdeen. Rodgers has made it clear to the player and the rest of his squad that he expects everybody at the club to work and hold themselves to the very highest standards.

There were a couple of minor incidents with players since the summer and Rodgers has made it clear that he won’t tolerate anything but his players being disciplined and totally professionals at all times.

There were high hopes for Celtic’s first ever Argentinian when he moved to Celtic last summer but his arrival seemed to take Greg Taylor’s game up to another level.

Bernabei started nine SPFL matches but whenever Taylor was fit the former Kilmarnock man went straight into the Starting XI.

Behind his friendly, supportive demeanour Rodgers cuts very little slack with his players, he demands and expects complete concentration and dedication.

When he arrived as Celtic manager for the first time in May 2016 it was telling that Anthony Stokes, Kris Commons and Charlie Mulgrew never played again. Over the previous five years they had been key players under Neil Lennon and Ronny Deila.

It is unlikely that Bernabei’s late-coming was a first offence with the decision to drop him a message to the squad at large as well as the player directly involved.

With three weeks left to go in the transfer window there is still time for players to come and go with Rodgers letting it be known that there is no place in his squad for slackers.

During the video below Callum McGregor and Greg Taylor make a few comments about not being late as suggestions to younger players (go to 3 minutes for comments).

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