BRENDAN RODGERS praised his defence for their uncompromising performance in the 1-0 win over Aberdeen at Parkhead yesterday.
The Celtic manager singled out centre-back Dedryck Boyata and goalkeeper Craig Gordon for their displays against Derek McInnes’ team who played a thteatening counter-attacking game.
The Belgian has put his well-publicised and unfortunate transfer issues behind him and, despite his red card in the fading moments against St Johnstone in midweek, turned in a near-faultless 90 minutes against the Pittodrie outfit.
And the Scotland international No.1 made a stunning stop to deny his former Hoops team-mate Gary Mackay-Steven on the stroke of half-time.
Rodgers said: “It was a tough game and we showed another side of us. That’s seven clean sheets in eight. Okay, we have played a couple of years where it has been all-singing, all-dancing, lots of chances, goals and records.
FLASH GORDON…Celtic keeper Craig Gordon’s lightning reflexes denied Gary Mackay-Steven. Pic: Geo.
“But at times in football you also have to show a resilience and spirit. So, until we get back – and I believe our movement and creativity is on the way back to where we want it to be – you’ve still got to win games.
“That match, earlier in the season, could have been 0-0. But we kept pushing and I’m delighted for the players.
“Dedryck was outstanding. Aberdeen put lots of great quality into the box, so you have to be able to defend that.
“Craig wasn’t overworked, but when they break away, they have good speed. Gary has wriggled himself into the box. Craig makes big saves when you need them.”
A word, too, about Jack Hendry who has taken some time to acclimatise to the step up from Dundee in January.
The youngster looked comfortable alongside Boyata which gave the champions a solid foundation upon which to build their attacks.
With Scott Sinclair coming back with a winning goal, all in all, not a bad day at the office for the Celts.