BRENDAN RODGERS hailed his true grit champions after Celtic’s remarkable comeback against Motherwell at Fir Park.

The Hoops went into the dramatic tussle five points behind in their quest to win their twelfth title in 13 years.

At the interval, they were trailing by a Blair Spittal goal and looking miles off the pace with the players finding difficulty in piecing together their passing game.

Rival keeper Liam Kelly had barely been troubled with his only save coming from a rushed Kyogo shot after a rare defence-shredding pass from skipper Callum McGregor. Apart from that one fleeting moment of danger, the Well No.1 could have caught up with his Sunday reading.

JOY RODGERS…the Celtic boss acknowedges the fans at Fir Park.

However, the encounter took a dramatic turn when substitute Adam Idah, on for Kyogo at the interval, thumped in a ferocious header for the equaliser six minutes after the turnaround.

And it was the Republic of Ireland international who pounced to score the second in the fourth minute of stoppage-time before fellow-substitute Luis Palma turned in the third from close range after good work from Yang Hyun-jun who had replaced the ineffective Nicolas Kuhn.

A delighted – and relieved – Hoops boss said: “We’re feeling really good, much better than we were at half-time, but we always seem to leave it late here for some reason.

“I’m really proud of the team. We started a wee bit anxious and didn’t really connect the game in the first-half.

DIDN’T HE DO WELL…Adam Idah celebrates his second goal in stoppage-time.

“The passes were too long and we felt a wee bit of anxiety in the performance, but we just stayed calm at half-time and fixed it for the players in terms of positioning and play to our game.

“And once we started to connect the passes very quickly, then we started to get a real foothold in the game.”

Reflecting on the two-goal impact of on-loan Norwich City frontman Idah, Rodgers, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “Adam coming on was huge for us.

“I felt at half-time that we needed both movement and someone who could look after the ball for us – and the big guy comes in and scores two fantastic goals.

“He’s got a lot of qualities and hopefully, over these remaining months, he can show those.

“We needed that because we didn’t really have anything in the first period. Kyogo’s a guy who likes to run in behind, but in a game like this we needed someone who could take the ball into feet, as well, and, like I said, he scored two very good goals.

HAIL HAIL…Brendan Rodgers and Alistair Johnston, Liam Scales, Daizen Maeda and Greg Taylor appluad the Celtic fans after the nail-biting climax at Fir Park. 

“And the impact of the subs overall – Cameron Carter-Vickers comes in and settles everything at the back, Yang comes on and did very well, and looked to get on the outside as well as the inside.

“Luis Palma comes on and gets a goal at the back post and, obviously, Adam gets his two goals, so it was a real team effort and I’m really proud of them.”

Dundee visit Parkhead on Wednesday with 11 Premiership games still to go and the Hoops gaffer added: “I sense it, that there’s a story already written about this team and this squad.

“But I always say, we get the chance to write our own story and the story of these guys is that they are the champions and they’re that for a reason.

“For a multitude of reasons, it hasn’t maybe been quite as fluent this year, but certainly the talent can’t be questioned, as well as the mentality.

“That mentality is all about belief and they showed that in the second-half.”


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