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‘IF ONLY WE’D PLAYED WITH MORE COURAGE,’ RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS admitted his Celtic team have “an awful lot of work to do” following their 3-0 Europa League flop against Zenit St Petersburg last night.

The Hoops rarely threatened and all their good work from the first leg in Glasgow was nullified inside half-an-hour in Russia as they trailed 2-1 on aggregate.

The Parkhead men reached the knock-out stages of a European competition for the first time in three years, but have not won a match at any level beyond the group stage since 2004.

Rodgers said: “There’s still an awful lot of work for us to do.

“If I take a step back, there have been a lot of positives for us in European football this year over both competitions.

“Last week was an outstanding performance and we came into this game with a great opportunity to come through, but if you don’t start with that aggressive mentality, then it’s really difficult for you.

“We now have to go away and finish the domestic campaign as well as we possibly can and try to create another piece of history on that front.

“We then need to try and be better in Europe like we were this year and take another step forward.

“Across the two games, we were much the better in the first game and in this game, if we played with a bit more courage and belief, we could have maybe got a result.

“You talk about defending forward and we didn’t do that well enough and we conceded poor goals from that.

“At 2-0, we still have an opportunity in the game. We said at half-time everything was too sideways and backwards and that’s about bravery and courage to play.

“You saw the contrast from last week. In the second-half we started off okay, but then you concede possession too cheaply and they work ball around for a cross, and then they get the third goal.

“We shouldn’t be conceding that type of goal.”

 
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