BRENDAN RODGERS has rallied round Nat Phillips as he prepares his squad for the Champions League encounter against Feyenoord at Parkhead tonight.
The Celtic manager has a massive decision to make in his team selection for the final European outing of the season.
Cameron Carter-Vickers will be sidelined for the second consecutive game with a hamstring problem. Liam Scales looks a certainty to play against the Dutch, but there must be question marks over on-loan Liverpool centre-back Phillips.
BLUNDER BHOY…Nat Phillips diverts in Kilmarnock’s equaliser as Celtic slide to a 2-1 loss at Rugby Park.
The Anfield defender was far from convincing when Kilmarnock upped the tempo as they staged a remarkable fightback at Rugby Park on Sunday to win 2-1 and inflict the first league defeat of the season on the champions.
Phillips inadvertently gave the hosts a helping hand when he clumsily diverted the equaliser past the helpless Joe Hart 15 minutes from time and that offered Derek McInnes’ side the impetus to go on and net a second through Matty Kennedy in the 87th minute.
The alternatives for Rodgers against Arne Slot’s men are Gustaf Lagerbielke, red-carded against the Dutch in Rotterdam at the beginning of the campaign, or Stephen Welsh, who is back in full training after his injury in September.
Maik Nawrocki, the £4.3million recruit from Legia Warsaw in the summer, wasn’t named in the Irishman’s squad for the elite competition.
Phillips was widely criticised for a shaky display, but boss Rodgers deflected the blame when he told the Daily Record: “Listen, I think it is a collective. It can never be pointed at one player.
“I thought in the first-half we played very well. We played with good speed and should have scored more than one goal.
“But from the very outset of the second-half, we didn’t play. If there is anyone to blame for the result, blame me.
“It is down to the manager to pick the team.”
Now it will be highly interesting to discover if Phillips gets a starting place against the Dutch champions.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Feyenoord this evening – only in your champion CQN.