BRENDAN RODGERS has dismissed suggestions by Livingston manager David Martindale that his players will be suffering from ‘mental fatigue’ when they visit the Tony Macaroni Arena today, telling his players he won’t accept any excuses if they leave West Lothian with anything less than a win.

Martindale is hoping that some of Celtic’s new players will find it difficult to adjust to the unique conditions at Livingston, and that some of their squad may be jaded following the midweek Champions League defeat to Feyenoord in Rotterdam.

But the Celtic manager has no such concerns about his men, saying it is far too early in the season to be talking about tiredness affecting his team.

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“It’s no excuse,” Rodgers said.

“The guys are now used to it. A lot of those guys now have been playing the past couple of seasons in European football – that’s part of the gig here. 

“That’s part of moving on quickly. You can’t dwell on the games. You have 24 hours when you can suffer but the strength is to get up and fight the next time and get going again quickly. 

“So, there will be no mental fatigue. We’ll be ready. David’s a good man. I like him and I look forward to seeing him. 

“We are only in September. It’s not April.”

Rodgers has been an outspoken critic of the presence of synthetic surfaces in the Premiership in the past, but while he acknowledges the pitch at Livingston coupled with the home side’s approach may pose difficulties for Celtic, he says it is up to his players to overcome whatever is put in front of them.

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“There are always challenges with the surface,” he said. 

“I remember being up here before and the away games were a challenge. We were on a run of games where we’d scored a load of goals and went to play Livingston and drew 0-0.

“It’s the pitch – the speed of the game is a lot slower. If your defence is packed out then in order to move teams around that have low blocks and lots of bodies there, you are relying on the speed of the pitch. Because the quicker the ball moves, the quicker they need to move. 

“If it’s a slow pitch, they don’t have to move quite the same. Then that density makes it really difficult.

“You could put 11 teachers, journalists or bin men in there and it’s a challenge. You have to get over that.”