A RELIEVED Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers admitted he endured the longest 90 minutes of his manergial career tonight.
The Hoops gaffer saw his team shed two goals to allow Hapoel Be’er Sheva back into their Champions League play-off encounter after the Parkhead side’s 5-2 win last week.
Goals from Ben Sahar and Ovidiu Hoban gave the Israelis hope of completing what their coach had described as a “miracle” comeback.
However Celtic stood firm and secured their spot back among the European elite and stake a place in the glittering draw whicj will be made in Monte Carlo on Thursday.
Rodgers said: “It was probably the longest 90 minutes I have faced as a coach and I think, with past experiences that players have had, sometimes they know how it can map out.
“I thought Hapoel Be’er Sheva were outstanding. They had to force the game, of course. They had nothing to lose, but they played very well.
“But I have to congratulate my players, because all the work we have been doing has been based around that mentality and quality of game.
“We know we can’t always play well. A lot of games we have played well.
“But this match was purely about resilience and persistence and it was an amazing effort by the players on the back of everything they have been through before.
“So, huge applause to them and I am delighted they are getting their rewards after a long pre-season.”