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‘WELCOME BACK, CRAIG,’ SAYS RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS praised comeback keeper Craig Gordon who marked his 200th appearance with his 100th clean sheet in the goalless draw with Dundee at Parkhead tonight.

The Scotland international No.1 returned for his first game since sustaining a knee injury in the 1-0 win over Hibs on January 27.

Rodgers said: “It’s a great statistic for him, considering a few years ago he thought he was maybe done.

“It was great to have him back. He’s back early and looked like he’d never been away. He was very composed and it’s great for him.

“He was very alert. He has worked very hard in his rehabilitation. He is a fit guy, he really looks after his body and has a good eye on the game. There were no nerves, he picked his passes in the right moments. What he had to do, he did very well.”

Rodgers, though, could hardly have been so enthusiastic about what was happening at the other end of the pitch as the Hoops fired blanks for the fifth time in this campaign following other flops against Sevco Rangers, Hearts, St Johnstone and Motherwell.

He said: “My reflection on the game is frustration that we didn’t have that cutting edge. I thought a lot of our play was very good. We worked the ball through the thirds really well, got into lots of really good areas.

“It was a mix of us not having that final bit of quality in the final third to make the breakthrough and some good defending by Dundee. Their three central defenders blocked spaces, were very committed and made it difficult for us.

“So, we are disappointed we couldn’t make that breakthrough, because I think if we got it early on it would have opened up even more for us.

“We’ve seen it here a lot of times, teams hang in there if we don’t make that breakthrough.
“But, listen, there are six games to go and we are 10 points clear. It’s a clean sheet for us, there was some good football. It was just that little bit of cutting edge we lacked.”

Rodgers added: “I said at half-time we needed a little bit more intensity and purpose in and around the box.

“We had a look at it for about 20 minutes then made the changes and altered the shape of the team, trying to freshen it up. We threw everything at it, but it didn’t work out.”

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