THE shout used to be “on your head” but as football and life changed that well-worn phrase has been tweaked.

Psychology is a huge part of the game, nowhere more so than Celtic, where Brendan Rodgers is more of a ‘in your head’ kind of a manager.

Rodgers loves this part of football; how to get into the minds of the most complex of personalities. It’s a skill the best coaches need because footballers are rarely easy to read.

“I think psychology is massive,” said Rodgers. “I have found that part of the game fascinating, in terms of getting the best out of people. I always think that, if a player can run from here to there in half a second, then that is great.

"And if Moussa Dembele can jump out of this room, then what is it that makes him jump? That is the mental part of it.

“I think a lot of work goes into the technical, the tactical, and obviously the physical, but the mental aspect is about managing the pressure and the stress, and being consistent. That is obviously the key. I tend to focus on that quite a lot.”

Playing at Celtic is both easy and difficult. This is a team which dominates at home and even when they do lose in Europe, the supporters are savvy enough not to go in too hard on the players.

But it’s a 24/7 profession and so many have found the club too big for them. This is where Rodgers believes the mind becomes as important as the ability to kick a football.

“Sometimes ‘pressure’ is about perception,” he said. “You get given pressure but it’s about how you take it. If you want to be successful, the reality is, it’s always there. It never goes away. If you want to win, and be successful, then to be relentless like that comes a little bit of pressure.

“It’s my job to help the players come a little bit away from that, and let them focus on the football. I’ll take whatever comes with the pressure, so long as they can go out and give their very, very best. In this context, in the short period of time that I’ve been with this squad, they’ve been outstanding.”

Rodgers studied NLP, neuro-linguistic programming, for five years, which might explain much of his approach to coaching and his style of getting the best out of his players.

“They have to be committed and I don’t mean motivation,” he said. “Motivation is attached to emotion and you are going to be up and down all the time. If you’re committed, we will organise a plan for you to be the best you can be, as whatever team sport it is, it’s about the individual too.

“From that, I always say, ‘It’s your responsibility…the crown is on your head’. You are the king of your own destiny. Wherever you go, is down to you.”

“We have the tools that can make them the best they can be and hopefully they then deliver excellence on the field. Hopefully they then represent the club and the team in the best way they can."