BRENDAN RODGERS turned his thoughts to next month’s transfer window in the immediate aftermath of the courageous 2-1 victory over Feyenoord at Parkhead last night.
The goals from Luis Palma, from the penalty spot, and Gustaf Lagerbielke, a late, late header at the back post, sealed the Hoops’ first home win in the Champions League group stages for 10 long years.
Ironically, the previous time they celebrated a victory in the east end of Glasgow at this level, it was a 2-1 triumph over Dutch opposition – Ajax – and James Forrest, a 68th-minute substitute against the Rotterdam club – was on the scoresheet with Beram Kayal claiming the winner.
DUTCH DOUBLE DELIGHT…matchwinner Gustaf Lagerbielke and Stephen Welsh celebrate after the 2-1 victory over Feyenoord at Parkhead.
Rodgers enjoyed the moment along with the majority of the 56,391 fans, but remained focused on the forthcoming months as he said: “What we’ve shown at home is that we could very easily have been on nine points from our games.
“Over the course of the competition we’ve shown potential, but the team needs support, it needs to be stronger at this level.
“You need to add quality and if we’re going to progress, which I want us to do, then, hopefully, we can do that over the coming windows.
“But we’ve certainly shown potential in what we can do in lots of moments in games, so if we can add to the squad, then I’m confident we can then make these next steps and come out of the group.”
Rodgers, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “I’m clearly very happy with the win for the players, who put so much into the game, and obviously for the supporters.
“It’s been a long time since there’s been a home win in the Champions League, but we said before the game, there are no gifts for a Celtic player.
“Every game means something and you could see that with the players – how much they put into the game – and some of the football in the first-half was very good, and we created some opportunities.
“In the second-half, we had to dig in a little bit, but we kept fighting to the end and we got the winner, so I’m so happy for everyone.
ENDGAME…Brendan Rodgers and Stephen Welsh look releived at the final whistle.
“We said that this is obviously the last game of our competition this season, but this is about a process. Every game counts for us in that process, so the players were very motivated, very committed and we played some really good stuff and showed courage in our defending.
“We showed a great mentality.”
Rodgers also took the time to praise his central defensive partnership of comeback Bhoy Stephen Welsh, making his first appearance since August after a lengthy period out through an ankle injury, and Liam Scales, who turned in a Man of the Match performance.
The Hoops gaffer added: “They were playing against good players, against a team that has scored a lot of goals.
“Gimenez is a very talented player and he’s scored a lot of goals in Holland this season, but Stephen having not played for a while and Scalesy outstanding, so both of them were very good.”
As Rodgers ponders his next move in the transfer market, he will also prepared his players to go again in the Premiership against Hearts at Parkhead on Saturday.
After last weekend’s stumble at Rugby Park that cut the champions’ lead to five points, a victory over the Tynecastle outfit is an absolute must.