‘A GAME WE HAVE TO WIN,’ RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS has admitted tomorrow night’s Europa League Group B game against RB Leipzig is a MUST-WIN confrontation for Celtic.

And the Hoops boss believes the incredible home support can help push the champions to three crucial points to sit level with the Bundesliga outfit on six.

Rodgers’ side will go into the encounter on the back of three successive impressive victories victories since they lost 2-0 in Germany a fortnight ago, 3-0 over Hearts in the Betfred League Cup semi-final and Premiership victories over Dundee (5-0) and Craig Levein’s team again (5-0).

He said: “We are certainly in a much better place than we were a number of weeks ago.

“The team is really confident and playing well, scoring goals and defensively strong.

“We know it is a tough game for us, but we love playing at Celtic Park and we know that if we are to progress or have any opportunity to progress to the group stages,  it is a game we HAVE to win.

“People will look at it as a pressure game, but not every pressure situation is a negative.

“I’ve always seen the pressure moments as opportunities for you to go and show your qualities.

“In the last game against Leipzig, for the opening half-hour we looked fine in the game and then when we conceded we didn’t play well enough after that both with and without the ball.

“In a couple of games away from home we probably haven’t shown our true qualities for whatever reasons, but the team is on a good level of confidence, we are playing well which is very important.”

HOME SWEET HOME…Celtic Park on a European night. Pic: Geo.

Rodgers added: “It is always a different game at Celtic Park, our supporters are everything for us, they really push us on and help us and, of course, we know that we have to be at the very highest level to get a result.

“A little problem for us in the last few years is that we have made mistakes at this level and the lesson is you get punished.

“So, defensively, let’s not make mistakes and make it very difficult for the opposition to score.

“At this level, the tempo is quicker and higher and you have to retain the ball better at speed, but we have shown all these things at very highest level that we can do that.

“It is ensuring we have that consistency and not dent our confidence by making mistakes and, hopefully, create a platform to get a good result.

”I have every confidence with the players that we can go on and put on a good demonstration of our qualities and our aim is to win the game.”

The Hoops travel to Rosenborg for Game Five in the section on November 29 and bring down the curtain on their qualifying efforts with another home game against group leaders RB Salzburg, who have a 100 per cent record after three outings including a 3-1 victory over the Scots, on December 12.

However, it is imperative Celtic get the job done tomorrow night to provide that springboard to success and European football in 2019.

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