Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Celtic qualifying for Europa League a massive achievement, says Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is seen during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Motherwell at Celtic Park Celtic qualifying for Europa League a massive achievement, says Rodgers
Kristopher Love | 06 December, 2017, 14:55

Anderlecht now have a new coach and have risen to third in the Belgian top flight on the back of a good run of form; they top the form table in Belgium over the last nine league games with seven wins, one draw and one loss.

After beating Anderlecht 3-0 in September, Celtic are now in a strong positon to finish third in their group and qualify for the Europa League.

"The context of the game probably affected our performance, especially in the first half", Rodgers said.

"They deserved to be in the Europa League, they won 3-0 in Anderlecht, we won 1-0 tonight".

'They were much brighter and quicker than us. We couldn't keep the ball.

"Some of our players have a long way to go before they can call themselves players at this level".

"We've got to have a touch of realism - there are going to be much better teams in that than ourselves", he said.

"So we need to be better than we were tonight but we have shown we can be better".

Still chasing his first win in the Champions League in Glasgow Rodgers witnessed improvement in his team when he replaced Scott Sinclair and Stuart Armstrong with Olivier Ntcham and Tom Rogic at half-time.

CELTIC scraped into the Europa League knockout stages on a nervy night at Parkhead.

"We're used to being at home, keeping the ball and having a lot of possession but Craig has just told me the passing stats and it's not great". We have done unbelievable, we were fourth seeds and not many of them have got into third place.

"Tonight is an example of the long, long way to go and the gap there is between the teams at the very top end of European football and even those in behind that".

Speaking after the match, Rodgers was disappointed by the result but pleased to have finished third in a tough group which also contained Paris-Saint Germain and Bayern Munich.