BRENDAN RODGERS dubbed Celtic’s performance in the 1-0 triumph over Rosenberg in Trondheim as “sensational”.
A remarkable angled drive from James Forrest brought the Norwegians to their knees and booked a place for the Hoops in tomorrow’s Champions League play-off draw in Nyon, Switzerland.
Rodgers said: “It was a big performance. Take away the win, what was important for me was the maturity.
“This time last year, I was going into these games with a hope that we could go through, to try to find a way.
“To come out here and play to that level with that composure – everyone was talking about the pressure of the game, so to play that way was sensational, really.
“I am really delighted with the players, how they managed the game, how they kept their nerve and courage to play, yes it was a great victory for us.
“Look at Nir Bitton, coming into the game as a midfielder.
“I always love a midfielder who can play at centre-half and he came on for Erik Sviatchenko and played as if he had played there all his life.
“He showed great composure, defended well and took the ball under pressure which we expect from him.
“James Forrest got his goal from wide, but did a great job centrally. He should have scored another one, but I think he played the role really well.
“It was a brilliant goal. It is a huge credit to players and where they are at now in their development.”
Rodgers added: “When the draw comes it is going to be one of those anxious moments again at some point over the two legs.
“But like I say, 12 months on, it is a different mentality and feel.
“The squad are happy to go through, but I now expect that and that comes from the belief of how they work and how they play.
“Whoever we get it will be a tough game and my focus now will be on Hearts on Saturday.”
Meanwhile listen to the new CQN Podcast below, it really is worth taking the time.
This edition features a hard hitting introduction from Paul Dykes on the cheating and also a look back at The Celts for Change Years, which will remind you where we were as a football club in the nineties.