BRENDAN RODGERS had a sad admission to make after watching Celtic struggle to convince in the 1-0 victory over Ross County at Parkhead yesterday.
The stuttering champions had to rely on a first-minute deflected shot from Alistair Johnston to see off the spirited Highlanders in a scrappy encounter that saw Luis Palma squander TWO penalty-kicks.
It took a smart save from Joe Hart in the fading moments to ensure the three points that keep the Premiership pacesetters at the pinnacle, five ahead of their nearest challengers from Ibrox who also have a game in hand.
IN WITH A SHOUT…Brendan Rodgers issues instructions from the touchline.
The hosts looked decidely edgy as the final whistle neared and the veteran keeper had to display lightning reflexes to stretch across his goal to stun a low drive from Jordan White and then dive on the loose ball as a County player raced in the hope of claiming a rebound.
The match came to a conclusion moments later and that was the cue for a section of agitated fans to vent their feelings with a volley of jeers. Alas, it appears to be an all-too-regular occurrence these days.
Unfortunately, Rodgers admitted he is getting used to hearing boos in his second spell as Hoops boss after returning to the post in June to replace Spurs-bound Ange Postecoglou.
The 51-year-old Irishman, speaking to the media in the immediate aftermath of the win, said: “I’ve had that since I’ve been here. If it’s not the result, it’s me. If not me, the board.
“So, all we can do as a team is win games, try to improve and develop – and win.
CELTIC CRY…Brendan Rodgers sends a message to his players.
“That’s what the team has done. The team and ourselves as staff work hard every day together, and that’s how we will continue to be.
“If it falls below the expectation, then we’ll do everything we can to be better.”
The champions go back into action against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Saturday before their midweek trip to Easter Road to face Hibs.
They complete three successive away games with a Scottish Cup Fifth Round meeting against St Mirren in Paisley a fortnight today.