BRENDAN RODGERS admitted he ripped into his Celtic players at the interval during their 6-4 warm-up win over Queen’s Park at Lesser Hampden last night.

At the end of the seesawing 90 minutes, the Hoops boss saw Kyogo Furuhashi claim a hat-trick to add to his penalty-kick strike in Friday’s 1-1 draw with Scott Brown’s Ayr United at Somerset Park.

The returning Matt O’Riley also got on the scoresheet along with South Korean striker Oh Hyeon-gyu and youngster Francis Turley.

Asked if he was satisfied with the overall performance, Rodgers answered: “Some bits of it. As I said it is about fitness, but also there was lots of elements of the first-half I wasn’t happy with.

“Especially with some of the guys who should understand the game better.

CELTIC VIEW…Brendan Rodgers had a word with his players at half-time.

“Our pressing was nowhere near a level of what I would expect and that is what we said at half time.

“In the first 15 minutes, we pressed the game better than we did in all of the 45 minutes. That continued in the second-half.

“You expect some little mistakes and unfortunate things to happen in the game, but, overall, you see we still have a long, long way to go with the pressing side of our game.”

Rodgers, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “However, there were also some really pleasing moments in the game, as well.

“None more so than young Francis Turley coming into the game. I’ve only really seen him the last few days and you can see he is a football player.

“He does some wonderful things with the ball and has a natural instinct to get into the box, so I was really pleased with him in that last final half-hour. Another good exercise and another step up for us from the other night.”

LET’S HEAR SOME NOISE FOR THE BHOYS…hat-trick star Kyogo Furuhashi.

The Hoops gaffer added: “I think the young players will always give you everything. They stepped up from what they did against Ayr.

“We wanted them to express themselves even more and show better and more personality and they did that. Really pleased in that aspect.”

Kyogo fired in his trio during his hour on the pitch and hit the opener in the sixth minute.

The hosts levelled shortly afterwards when Ruari Paton drove a low shot past Scott Bain and they went in front in the 22nd minute through a curling effort from Dom Thomas.

Kyogo replied when he diverted a cross from his countryman Yuki Kobayashi and O’Riley, captain for his 45 minutes of action, was next to score when he fired in five minutes from the break after some good work from Mikey Johnston.

Rodgers replaced Bain, O’Riley and Johnston with Benji Siegrist, Kwon Hyeon-Kyu and Thomas Hatton at half-time.

Kyogo sealed his threesome on the hour mark following a neat pass from Odin Holm.

Rodgers then made a raft of changes as he brought off every outfield player who had started the game.

MAKING A POINT…Oh Hyeon-gyu was a goaltaker and goalmaker against Queen’s Park.

Oh hit No.5 in the 67th minute before Louis Longridge left Siegrist helpless as he lobbed the ball home. Back came the visitors in the 73rd minute when the impressive Turley struck after good service from Oh.

Five minutes from time, Tyrece McDonnell brought the goal fest to a halt with a close-range header.

Rodgers is now preparing his squad for the champions’ quickfire trip to America where they will play DC United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

The Hoops are scheduled to fly out a week on Saturday with the Premiership kick-off due for Sunday August 4 when Kilmarnock are the visitors on Flag Day.

TEAM: Bain; Iwata, Welsh, Murray, Kobayashi; Lawal, O’Riley, Holm; Yang, Kyogo, Johnston. Subs: Siegrist, Oluwayemi, Clarke, Oh, Kwon, Frame, Agbaire, Robertson, Dede, Ure, Donovan, Hatton and Turley.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author