BRENDAN RODGERS is looking for Celtic to return to their expected form when they bring down the curtain on the Champions League quest against Feyenoord at Parkhead tomorrow.
Alas, only pride is at stake in the final Group E encounter that sees the Hoops rock-bottom of the section with only one point following four defeats and a draw.
The match against the Dutch was rendered meaningless as far as European competition was concerned following the 2-0 loss to Lazio in Rome last month, but Rodgers insists his players must rise to the occasion.
The Irishman watched as his side fumbled their way through a disastrous, mistake-riddled second-half performance against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday when the champions threw away an interval advantage from Matt O’Riley to stumble to a 2-1 loss.
Now the gaffer insists his players must respond in the proper manner as they chase the first win against the Rotterdam side who triumphed 2-0 in the first fixture in September when the Hoops were left with nine men following the quickfire second-half dismissals of Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Holm.
Rodgers said: “Our attitude in the game is exactly the same – and that’s to go and win. And we do that by playing our way. I think we showed at the weekend that once we change from that, we don’t have the same qualities.
“It’s our last game at home and we want to do everything we can to give the supporters a performance and a result. “I think the beauty and the great value of the game at the weekend is that we know where the issues where.
“It was a bit like the St Johnstone game, the intensity wasn’t right and we fixed that. Sadly for us when we analysed the game, we didn’t play with the poise that we would need to play within the second-half in our league game.
“But, at least, we see that and we can take that hopefully into the game tomorrow.”
Rodgers, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “Every win always improves confidence, but either way, whatever the result, we will go into our game against Hearts on Saturday really focused on performing and getting a result.
“So, we will make the breakthrough, I’m pretty sure at some point in the near future, but it would be great place to start tomorrow, of course.
“But whatever the result, we go into our weekend game really focused on getting back up to speed in the league.”
Cameron Carter-Vickers, who missed the setback in Ayrshire with a hamstring strain, won’t be risked against the Dutch and hopes Daizen Maeda might be free of injury were unfounded and he, too, will be sidelined for the Euro finale.
Looking at tomorrow’s opponents, Rodgers added: “They are a strong side. We saw their quality, we played really well in the first-half, stood up in the second-half, but you can see the quality they have, the physicality in the team, the really high level of technique and good understanding.
“Arne Slot’s an excellent coach. He’s done very well with Feyenoord, so any game in the Champions League is a big challenge, but we relish that.
“It’s our last game here in the competition and we want to give the supporters something to go home happy about.”