BRENDAN RODGERS admitted he was “really pleased” as Celtic eased back into action after the winter break with a 5-0 Scottish Cup romp over Buckie Thistle at storm-lashed Parkhead last night.
However, the hard-to-please gaffer still saw room for improvement in the champions before they face Ross County in the east end of Glasgow in the Premiership on Saturday.
The holders, who now play St Mirren in Paisley in the fifth round of the national competition next month, sidestepped a potential banana skin against the non-league Highland outfit with goals from Paulo Bernardo, Odin Holm and Kyogo Furuhashi in the first-half and others from Luis Palma and Rocco Vata after the break.
Amazingly, the Hoops had FOUR ‘goals’ ruled out for offside with Greg Taylor, Kyogo, Bernardo and Liel Abada, starting his first game since September, falling foul of VAR.
And Liam Scales was out of luck, too, with a thundering header from a Palma left-wing corner-kick in the opening period that smacked off the face of the crossbar and rebounded to safety.
Rodgers observed: “It’s a really good day for everyone.
“Obviously, we progress and play well and score some really good goals – and we could have had a few more – and for Buckie Thistle it’s an amazing memory for them.
From our guys it was good focus and good professionalism. I’m really pleased.
“We’ve seen it over many years, the shocks in the competition, but I don’t really worry about that with this team. The humility and mentality of them is very good.
“We prepared like we would for any game.”
However, the Irishman wasn’t entirely satisfied and, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “I just think it was just a wee bit of the timing and we needed to be more aggressive.
“Sometimes when you haven’t played, you’re out of sync a little bit and you can be a little bit safe, but our centre-halves need to be higher up while Odin needed to stop passing to the centre-halves and play forward.
“Once we started to do that and the first goal goes in, then it was really good and we were really aggressive in our positioning.
“It was just that timing to be offside a few times, but some our play and our combinations was really good.”