Brendan Rodgers has insisted that what Celtic do not have in finance they more than make up for in culture and history.

Anderlecht are clearly irked at finding themselves in the position where they look set to be pipped to the Europa League parachute placing in Group B by ‘peasants’ Celtic.

Anderlecht legend Paul van Himst levelled the accusation at the Parkhead side last week – while also throwing in his opinion that they played like little more than “woodcutters” in the 3-0 win over in Brussels.

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With resources far greater than Celtic’s, there is a feeling amongst the Belgians that they should have secured third spot by simply brushing the Parkhead side off.

“We are the peasants,” said Rodgers dryly. “But what we are is very rich in history and values as a club. For us as a team we are in the fourth pot for a reason.

“So the expectancy was probably for the top two teams to go through and Anderlecht to go into the Europa League. For us, if we can finish with four or six points it would be a great sign of progress for us from last year and also another step forward for us.”

James Forrest has been pivotal to Celtic this season, particularly in the European arena.

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It was the Scotland internationalist who netted in the crucial goal in Norway against Rosenborg in the Champions League qualifiers and against Bayern Munich he was the best player on the park.

It is a complete turnaround from the player who was set to quit Celtic after knocking back a contract offer from the club just under two years ago.

Rodgers has brought the best out of Forrest, with the winger’s brace on Saturday afternoon against Motherwell enabling him to eclipse his own season’s best tally in front of goal.

For the first time in a single season, Forrest has hit double figure with Rodgers insisting that there is still more to come from the winger.

"I really think that Celtic supporters should really be enjoying watching him now,” said Rodgers.

"He's won, what, 12 trophies now?

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"The stat that really hit me was the Bobby Lennox one.

"Everyone knows the esteem in which Bobby Lennox is held in.

"So for his record not to have been equalled up until James, really shows the level in which the kid is playing at.

"And his best years are to come.

“Celtic will see the best of him. He's 26 now and you think he's going into asset age at 28, 29 and he's still a few years away from that.

"So for me he's absolutely brilliant.

“That’s your job as a coach and manager, with your staff, to get the maximum out of the players. You know their talents. That is what I love doing and what makes me happy: seeing players fulfil their potential and maximising their talent and getting the best conditions in their life that they possibly can. That’s the joy.

“When I first came in here I said, yeah, the trophies are great, absolutely brilliant, but from a personal perspective for me the biggest joy is seeing the relationship between the training and the games and then the consistency.”

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Rodgers arrived as Forrest was deliberating over his future and the first conversation that the new Celtic manager had with the player was a jokey barb at his loss of form, communicated via a laugh with the Hoops captain.

Revealed Rodgers: "We had a nice little joke, me him and Browny.

"I had met Browny previous to my first day of training here but when I was walking up the stairs he was with James.

"I shook Browny's hand and then shook James' hand and said 'it's nice to meet you'.

"I then said to Browny 'listen, will you do me a favour? If you see James Forrest can you tell him that the manager absolutely loves him and that he wants to have a little chat with him because he's obviously been on loan for a couple of years but I want him back to play.'

"That gave him a little chuckle and he was up and running - we built up a rapport from day one.

"That's the beauty of it, he's only 26. He's been around for a long time but I think because of the measure of the expectancy here at Celtic is that in a lot of those years when people have criticised him he was a really young player."

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Rodgers had watched Forrest when he first broke into the Celtic senior team under Neil Lennon and believed that he was always capable of getting back to that kind of level.

This season has offered evidence of that with the Scotland internationalist arguably Celtic’s most effective performer this term.

"When I first accepted this role I made a few calls,” said Rodgers.

"I thought he [James] was dynamic and skillful and looked like he had an end product.

"You know, he wasn't the type of player to do 50 tricks on the ball and then lose it. He was effective and a really good player.

"When I spoke to him on the phone I reassured him that we could work well together.

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"He has a lovely smile, James, he's a great boy who is really relaxed. Everybody loves him here.

"His temperament is wonderful.

"So I sat him down and said to him: 'it's like you've been on loan for two years, where have you been?'

"That is what football is about.

"It's about developing the strengths of players. James' strengths are one-v-ones and taking people on, scoring goals.

"I just had to stimulate him to know that he has to be part of a team and from that, in pre-season, he was arguably our best player."