BRENDAN RODGERS admits he expects his Celtic players to show a reaction against Hamilton Accies on Sunday to their 1-1 draw in Lithuania last night.
The Hoops boss was rightly critical of the woeful defending of his team against FK Suduva in the first leg of their Europa League play-off.
Now he expects to see his players to stand up and be counted as they kick off three games in the east end of Glasgow with Accies first up, then the Lithuanian champions on Thursday and Steven Gerrard’s men the following Sunday.
Asked about his stinging remarks, Rodgers replied: “I haven’t had to do it too often.
“I don’t think I was overly strong, but it was the fact we had a good start in the game and conceded from a basic static set-piece position and we need to be better, it’s as simple as as that.
“It’s been ongoing, really, for my time here. When it’s like that, the stability can be difficult. However, I think we can still do better. If you look at the goals we concede they are very very simple straightforward goals.
“We had a lot of domination in the game, creating opportunities and the little bits of defending that we have to do, we all feel like we can be better in those moments. That’s something we have to strive for.”
HOOPS DOUBT…Jozo Simunovic who limped off last night.
The Irishman is likely to have problems in central defence for the visit of Martin Canning’s team. Jozo Simunovic, who didn’t look too convincing when he was on the field, limped off early in the second-half against the Lithuanians.
Jack Hendry didn’t even make the flight after sustaining an ankle injury against Partick Thistle on Saturday, Dedryck Boyata, fit or otherwise, has yet to figure in the team this season and Marvin Compper is unlikely to add to his 80 first-team minutes since his arrival in January.
Rodgers said: “Jozo will have scan on his ankle. He was in pain when he landed, so we will have to assess that late.
“I don’t think Jack is available at the weekend. He will probably come into training at the beginning of the week.”
French strike ace Odsonne Edouard, the £9million man who has missed the past three games, won’t feature against Accies, but he is improving and could be available for the crucial second leg against Suduva.
The Hoops gaffer added: “It’ll be great to have him back.
“He gives us numerous options because of his qualities and his football intelligence.”