BRENDAN RODGERS is poised to plunge into the transfer market to strengthen his Celtic squad after a lacklustre and error-strewn display as the holders crashed out of the Viaplay League Cup this afternoon.
The second time-around Hoops boss suffered defeat for the first time in 25 domestic Cup-ties as his team flopped 1-0 to Kilmarnock following a fairly inept performance at Rugby Park.
The silverware, which has been won by the Parkhead men six times in the last seven years and two seasons in succession, was surrendered far too meekly against opponents who underlined they were up for the Cup right from the kick-off.
SHOPPING LIST…Brendan Rodgers takes notes as Celtic toil against Killie.
Rodgers admitted: “We’re very disappointed with the result and the performance. We didn’t do enough to win the game.
“Our players worked hard enough, but we needed to have a bit more quality and our passing needed to be better.
“For the goal, we’re disappointed. Obviously, we had a man off the pitch, but we have to compete better from a throw-in and they end up getting a cross in our box. So, it was a disappointing day for us.
“We were nowhere near our level in terms of quality and precision of passing. Going into the final third we couldn’t create much, so it was disappointing from that aspect.”
DISAPPOINTED…Brendan Rodgers winces as he witnesses his first-ever Cup loss as Celtic manager.
Rodgers recognises the requirement for some top recruits who can be introduced straight to the top side and, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “I think you can see we need that quality.
“We’ve had quality go out of the building, so we definitely need that quality in.
“But the club will work very, very hard to get the players in that can improve us and make us better. That’s something we’ll do over the period of time between now and the close of the window.”
The only goal of a scrappy encounter arrived in the 59th minute when Greg Taylor was off the pitch having treatment and Killie exposed the missing left-back when Daniel Armstrong whipped in a low cross and Marley Watkins, from a marginally onside position, knocked the ball wide of the helpless Joe Hart.
The Viaplay League Cup quarter-final draw is: Kilmarnock v Hearts, Rangers v Livingston, Ross County v Aberdeen, Hibs v St Mirren. Ties due in midweek September 26-28.