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Chris Sutton feels the timing of Brendan Rodgers’ decision to leave Celtic ‘absolutely stinks’

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton criticised the timing of Brendan Rodgers’ departure after the lifelong Hoops fan said his farewells following an approach by Leicester.

Rodgers led Celtic to seven domestic trophies in succession but has left with the club involved in a title chase with a resurgent Rangers and a William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hibernian on Saturday.

Neil Lennon will step in to provide familiarity at Parkhead but Sutton feels Rodgers has tarnished his Celtic legacy.

“The timing of it stinks,” Sutton told the BT Sport Twitter account. “He’s going to a club who are playing for absolutely nothing – they are not going to get relegated, they are not going to get into Europe, and I am really disappointed.

“I think there are a lot of Celtic fans out there as well who will feel let down.

“This is the job which Brendan said was his dream job. So why is he going now to a club who have nothing to play for?

“In terms of how Brendan has left, he has left the club in a tough situation – short-term loans, losing the centre-back pairing (Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic) and the right-back (Mikael Lustig) in the summer. There’s a big overhaul in the summer which needs doing.

“Domestically, Brendan, clean sweep has been absolutely fantastic. Europe has been too tough for Brendan, as it has been for a lot of Celtic managers.

“It has been very negative of late. There has been a breakdown in the relationship with (chief executive) Peter Lawwell, Brendan threw him under a bus earlier in the season and from that moment you’re thinking this isn’t going to last.

“Bottom line, the timing of this absolutely stinks. Brendan Rodgers is a top coach and I certainly wish him well, but come on Brendan, the timing is poor.”

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was an interested observer as news broke of Leciester’s move.

“My focus right now is Rangers and we’ve got a big fixture tomorrow against Dundee,” he said. “That’s my main concern right now but we’ll keep an eye on how it pans out across the road.

“I’m not really surprised by the timing because these things happen. Brendan has done ever so well at Celtic over the years so it’s no surprise that other clubs are watching him and wanting to acquire his services. He’s done a really good job and I’ve worked with Brendan so I know he’s a very good coach.”

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was also not surprised.

“He has done a remarkable job at Celtic,” McInnes said. “He’s made the players who were there previously better which is always an indication.

“He’s also done the job asked of him, which at Celtic is to win trophies and develop talent. There’s no real surprise. There’s been interest in him before and interest in him now obviously.”

One of Rodgers’ last acts as Celtic manager was to criticise Stephen Robinson over the controversial goal Motherwell scored at Parkhead on Sunday but the Fir Park boss had warm words for his counterpart.

Robinson said: “Brendan did take that goal badly, didn’t he?

“Listen, I have total respect for Brendan. I have only just been told that he may have left, which is a big loss for Scottish football as well, because he is a fantastic manager.

“He has been very good to me. When I was having difficult times, when there was ridiculous rumours about myself, then he was the first person to pick up the phone. So I have the utmost respect for him.”