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Brendan Rodgers is confident he will be backed this month as he looks to strengthen his squad.

Celtic finished the year on a solid footing with wins over Livingston, Dundee, Rangers and St Mirren, a sequence of results that soothed the troubled waters following defeats to Kilmarnock and Hearts.

The Parkhead side are currently eight points clear at the top of the Premiership, although Rangers have two games in hand still to play.

Rodgers has been buoyed by the return of Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada in recent games. Reo Hatate was an emotional figure after he made an appearance off the bench in Paisley with the Japanese internationalist now off to represent his country in the Asian Cup with the midfielder expected to be pivotal to the second half of the season.

The likelihood is that Celtic will be stronger when the season gets back up and running although Rodgers is also keen to add quality to bolster their drive to retain the championship.

“The club will do absolutely everything we can to support what we need and what the team needs,” he said. “There is lots of work going on in the background, and I’m pretty sure that in this early period of the month, we can have some joy and get one or two in.”

Given the numbers in Celtic’s squad, it is inevitable that there will be a trimming of the squad.

“You have to for multiple reasons,” he said. “For the players themselves and for their football careers, they need to play. For financial reasons, you can’t be carrying numbers of players each month who aren’t contributing.

“It then allows us the opportunity to bring players in. That’s just a natural process.

“It’s the hardship of the job – it’s one of the tough moments that you have – but I always think you’re better being clear with the players and where he stands.

“It’s a challenge because you know that sometimes a player will leave here and he won’t have similar conditions again at his next club.

“But you have to do it for the greater good of the team, the club and for the player himself. It’s a side of the job that is a challenge, especially when players are so honest and they are on the way up.

“But the reality is, as a manager, that’s what you get paid to do.”

“I have regular dialogue with players but still we obviously have to wait and see as well because some players may want to go out but, if we don’t get the players in that we need, then I have to ensure the squad is as strong as it possibly can be for the second part of the season.”

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