BRENDAN RODGERS has issued a promise to Celtic fans as he prepares for the team’s Champions League kick off against Feyenoord in Rotterdam tonight.
The Irishman, taking charge of the Hoops at this level for the first time since December 2017, vows his players will be willing to fight and scrap in every encounter in Group E which also consists Atletico Madrid and Lazio.
Rodgers was at Leicester City last season as Ange Postecoglou’s side lost four – home and away to Real Madrid and RB Leipzig – and drew two, both 1-1 against Shakhtar Donetsk, of their ties in their section in an ill-fated adventure that didn’t even offer the consolation of Europa League football after the turn of the year.
Ange’s players won plaudits, but precious few points in an arena where every mistake will be punished.
The champions step onto the Euro tightrope again in the De Kuip against a team that has scored 17 goals in their last three Eredivisie outings and Rodgers said: “If you talk about the last 20 years, the game has evolved so much and the challenges are there to see.
“What we can promise is that we will fight in every single game and we want to compete and that’s all I can promise.
“To do that, if we play to the level we can then we can cause teams problems and that will be our aim.”
Looking forward to a return to action among the elite echelons, Rodgers, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “I’m very excited. The guys worked extremely hard last year for the qualification, so it’s what you play for to arrive in the top competition and we’re really excited about it.
“We want to play the game with our competitive spirit and that’s important because you’re playing against top teams and we’ve seen it already this season that the spirit of this team will not be broken.
“For us, it’s about being competitive and you have to work very hard and very smart and let’s see where it takes us.
“To be involved in European football is a great experience as a coach and to lead this group of players into the highest level is something I’m proud to do.
“For us, we want to go in and make an impact and that’s what we’ll look to do.”
The Parkhead gaffer added: “Success, as a club, is to be in Europe after Christmas that is what our aim is, whatever competition it’s in.
“Anything is possible in the group and we look to be competitive.
Images courtesy Celtic TV.
“We’re not at peak Celtic is what I would say and we have a long way to go for us to be where I am happy for us to be.
“However, the players have shown that flexibility. In terms of stylistically at this level, we want to play the game to our DNA which is to be aggressive when we’re attacking and to have that conviction.
“That all comes from when you defend where you have to have that collective responsibility and resilience.
“We know there are times when we will be under pressure, especially away from home, but we want to give Feyenoord a problem when we do have the ball.”
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