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‘WHAT WE MUST DO AGAINST ZENIT,’ GORDON

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CRAIG GORDON admitted he is looking forward to Brendan Rodgers hitting the reset button during next week’s winter break in Dubai.

The Celtic keeper, 35, said: “I am 42 games into my season. I think Kieran Tierney has played the same amount and, when you add the internationals, it is a lot of football.

“This trip will refresh everyone and recharge the batteries, but the important thing is that it also allows the manager to do a bit of work on the training ground, too, and do a bit of coaching.

“When there are so many games then you have to recover, you have to prepare for the next game and there is not the same chance to do a lot of detailed work.

“So, this is a good coaching week for the players.

“It will let us refocus and look at the things we are good at and have another think about the way that the manager wants us to play.

“We have had 12 games in Europe already – six to qualify and six in the group stages as well as the four in the League Cup – so it is a lot of games.

“We have got a big squad and the people who have come in have stood up and kept us going.

“We needed everyone over the course of the month.”

The Hoops will return for Scottish Cup duty against Brechin City at the end of the month, but Gordon admitted he is already looking at the Europa League with the first leg against Russian cracks Zenit St. Petersburg due in Glasgow on February 15.

The shotstopper is relishing a return to the knock-out stages – and he’s convinced Rodgers’ men are at their best in two-legged encounters.

But after failing to win at Celtic Park in the Champions League in two seasons, he admitted the team must tighten up.

He added: “If we are going back to two-legged ties, we need to start winning games at home.

“In the qualifying campaigns over the last two seasons when it has been the two-legged games we have done quite well and managed to qualify for two years in a row.

“Those ties have suited us. We have known how to deal with the pressures of the away goal situation.

“The Europa League is still a very difficult competition with a lot of great players and great clubs.

“It’s going to be a big ask to keep progressing in that competition when you see the standard of some of the clubs.”

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