Scott McDonald backs Brendan Rodgers to lead Celtic beyond Champions League group-stages

General view of Celtic Park

Celtic reached the group-stages of the competition for the first time since the 2013/14 season.

Celtic manager Brendan RodgersCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers

Scott McDonald has suggested that as long as Brendan Rodgers is at the helm, Celtic have an excellent chance of developing into a team that can reach the knockout stages of the Champions League once again, the Daily Record reports.

The Hoops reached the group-stages of the competition this time around after coming through three rounds of qualifying before the end of August.

And while they finished winless at the bottom of their group, they undoubtedly had the toughest pool to qualify from and enjoyed some very bright spells in certain games - they drew with Manchester City both home and away.

And with their current dominance in the Scottish Premiership practically confirming that they will get another go at the competition next season, it appears that everything is moving in the right direction at Parkhead, and McDonald - who was part of the Hoops side that reached the last 16 in 2007/08 - insisted that he can see them going even further in the near future.

Celtic huddle up before the game

"Brendan has done a fantastic job at Celtic and he doesn’t look too far ahead as he had already stated that he can’t guarantee that he will be there in five years time," he said, as reported by the Record.

"Although the longer Brendan stays at Celtic then you have to think that getting to the last 16 of the Champions League is a real possibility.

"Brendan has the backing of the Celtic board and he will be looking to bring in certain calibre of player that will take them to that next level."

General view of Celtic Park

What will be extremely encouraging to Celtic fans is that they gave a decent account of themselves in Europe so early in Rodgers' tenure.

That would suggest that if he can continue to progress at the rapid rate he has so far, it may well be possible for the Bhoys to do even greater things next season, and perhaps extend their European adventure beyond Christmas whether that be in the Europa League or in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch