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‘PLAYERS A BIT TIRED,’ RODGERS

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CELTIC 0 BOHEMIANS PRAGUE 1

BRENDAN RODGERS admitted his his players may have been a bit tired as they lost in their second game of their pre-season training in Austria this afternoon.

The Hoops boss used two different teams after wholesale changes at the interval and he declared himself satisfied with the work-out, despiite the loss.

He said: “I thought it was very good for the boys and great for our fitness levels which is the main objective, of course.

“It was good to see young players getting first team experience and that’s another important factor in this exercise.

“It’s not the time to worry about the result. It’s about players getting a chance to take their opportunity.

“To be fair, the players have worked very hard this week. They had a double session yesterday and possibly they were a bit heavy-legged and a wee bit tired in this game.

“Now we have a closed-door game on Tuesday before we play Sparta Prague.”

The Hoops should have been ahead before Bohemians, who finished eighth in the Czech League last season, got the only goal through Dominic Masek 10 minutes from the interval.

In the sixth minute, Ryan Christie set up James Forrest, but the winger, the matchwinner against Vorwarts earlier in the week, saw his shot cannon off the crossbar to safety.

A couple of minutes later, Scott Brown sent Odsonne Edouard clear, but his cut-back to Scott Sinclair was scooped clear by the keeper.

Sinclair had another effort as he skipped in from the left, but the Czech No.1 made a fine diving save.

The champions were well on top and Jonny Hayes saw a low shot well saved by the keeper.

However, the Hoops were undone as the Czechs got clear on the right and the low ball was bundled into the net by Masek with the help of a deflection beyond Craig Gordon.

At half-time, Olivier Ntcham took the captain’s armband from Brown with Mikey Johnston and Tony Ralston coming on as Rodgers changed things around big-style.

Scott Bain made a couple of good saves while the champions’ attacks rarely threatened at the other end.

Johnston looked clever and tricky without putting too much pressure on Bohemians’ back lot.

Scott Allan had a reasonable opportunity to level in the fading moments when Calvin Miller slung over a cross from the left, but his header was off target.

TEAM FIRST-HALF: Gordon; Hendry, Ajer, Tierney; Forrest, Brown, McGregor, Hayes (sub: Miller 32); Christie, Sinclair; Edouard

TEAM SECOND-HALF: Bain; Ralston, Compper, Simunovic, Miller; Kouassi, Ntcham; Johnston, Allan, Henderson; Griffiths.

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