Celtic can’t al­ways be per­fect, ad­mits Rodgers

New Straits Times - - Sport -

GLAS­GOW: Bren­dan Rodgers ad­mit­ted Celtic can’t al­ways play per­fect foot­ball af­ter the cham­pi­ons ground out a 1-0 win at Partick This­tle.

French mid­fielder Olivier Ntcham’s first goal for Celtic midway through the first half set­tled a hard-fought en­counter on Fri­day.

It ex­tended Celtic’s un­beaten do­mes­tic run to 51 games as they made it two wins out of two at the start of their de­fence of the Scot­tish Premier­ship.

While Rodgers ad­mits his side slipped be­low his high stan­dards at Firhill, the Celtic man­ager praised their re­silience in grind­ing out the win.

“I’m happy with the three points but I’m al­ways hap­pier when we play bet­ter,” he said.

“We didn’t quite per­form as well as I would want — our stan­dards are much higher than we showed — but it shows the re­silience in the team to get the re­sult tonight.

“We will hope to per­form much bet­ter than that and it’s cer­tainly what I’ll de­mand in re­la­tion to our per­for­mance level.

“But, of course, you can’t al­ways play per­fect foot­ball. You’re not go­ing to play 38 games in the league and be ab­so­lutely bril­liant in them.

“That was maybe a game we might have drawn last year hav­ing not played great.

“Thank­fully it was three points and it’s a huge credit to the play­ers that if they’re not right on their game they have the abil­ity to see th­ese games out now.”

The win was per­fect prepa­ra­tion for Celtic as they pre­pare for their Cham­pi­ons League play-off first leg against As­tana at Park­head on Wed­nes­day.

The Hoops nar­rowly de­feated the Kaza­khstan side last sea­son en route to the Cham­pi­ons League group stages, but Rodgers feels the Glas­gow gi­ants are bet­ter equipped this time round.

“I think we’ve got a bet­ter idea of what we’re do­ing. That’s al­ways im­por­tant,” he said.

“Tac­ti­cally we’re much bet­ter than we were last year. We’ve strength­ened the squad and we will do be­tween now and the end of the win­dow as well.

“We are in a much bet­ter po­si­tion, but it still doesn’t take away the anx­i­ety and the pres­sures of the games.

“It will be a great night on Wed­nes­day and we’re look­ing for­ward to it. They’re two big games and it’s where we want to be — in the group stages of the Cham­pi­ons League.” AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.