BRENDAN RODGERS hailed his smooth operator Jeremy Toljan as the on-loan right-back made his first appearance at Parkhead in the 2-0 win over Hibs last night.

The Borussia Dortmund defender, who had 45 minutes in the 2-0 success over St Johnstone in Perth on Sunday, got the nod to start ahead of Mikael Lustig against the Easter Road outfit.

Toljan, who set up the opening goal for Ryan Christie, made an impressive first impression with the Hoops fans as well as his manager.

Rodgers said: “Jeremy is a really good player and that’s what good players do – they slot in.

“He’s smooth, slick, serves the ball well and has a good energy to get up and down the pitch. He was composed and he’s only going to get better.

“Overall, it was a controlled performance. The shape that Hibs play can be a difficult one to play against, especially when we’re trying to press the game.

CLASS…Jeremy Toljan has slotted in at right-back. Pic: Geo.

“But I thought we worked it out well in the game, opening up the sides and we scored a very good first goal.

“I thought in the first-half, our passing could have been cleaner, but we controlled the second-half and organised the game well. We’ve had a lot of injuries, but the players are very much a team and it was a very good performance.”

Rodgers, who will now prepare his players for the Scottish Cup visit of St Johnstone on Sunday, added: “The team are playing well. There are always areas we look at that we could be better in, but we’re enjoying our football.

“It’s tight at the top, but all you can do is focus on your own performance. I think what’s been good about the team is that we’ve been defending really well.

“The goalkeeper shouldn’t have much to do if we’re pressing well and that’s been the case.”

Scott Bain, who took over from Craig Gordon in the 3-0 win over League One part-timers Airdrie in the first game of 2019, has now gone six successive matches without conceding a goal this year.

He will face the Parth side at the weekend looking for his FOURTH clean sheet against Tommy Wright’s men.

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