STEVE CLARKE has told Brendan Rodgers his “silly” comparison of the Kilmarnock players with a bunch of firemen is not proper for a Celtic manager.

The Hoops boss was frustrated by his opponents’ suffocating tactics in the midweek goalless draw claiming his team would have found it hard to break down “11 firemen that deep on a pitch”.

The Killie gaffer hit back insisting it was not his job to make life easier for the seven-in-a-row champions.

Clarke said: “If you look at the majority of what Brendan said, it was correct and proper – but that (firefighter) line wasn’t really befitting of a Celtic manager.

“It wasn’t so much disrespectful, it was just a silly line to use in what was quite an honest post-match analysis of the game.

“We don’t have to go there and play the way Celtic want us to.

“We went there to play the way that is best for us to get a result. It’s my job as a manager to set my players up in a way that gives us the best chance of getting a positive result and that’s what we did.

“If you are the team with 73 per cent of the possession then it’s what you do with it that counts and on the night Celtic didn’t do enough.

“They only had one shot on target, which for that amount of possession I’d think would be disappointing for Brendan and his team.

“If he wants to insinuate that Celtic could not have broken down 11 amateur players, which is what he was insinuating, then I think he underestimates his own abilities as a coach and the ability of his players because I’m pretty sure Celtic would beat 11 firemen.

“I didn’t see Brendan after the game, we didn’t have the usual post-match chat so I don’t know if he was frustrated or not after the results we’ve had against them this year.

“I don’t think he should be too frustrated seeing as they have two trophies in the bag already and the chance to make it three next week.”

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