Wednesday 18 July 2018

Roy Keane delivers scathing assessment of Brendan Rodgers' ambitions at Celtic

Soccer Football - Champions League - Celtic vs Anderlecht - Celtic Park, Glasgow, Britain - December 5, 2017 Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after the match REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Soccer Football - Champions League - Celtic vs Anderlecht - Celtic Park, Glasgow, Britain - December 5, 2017 Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after the match REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Roy Keane has accused Brendan Rodgers of setting his targets too low, after the Celtic manager hailed his side’s success in qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League after a third place finish in their Champions League group.

While finishing ahead of Paris Saint-German or Bayern Munich in a tough Champions League pool was always a long shot for the Scottish champions, former Celtic midfielder Keane was scathing in his assessment of their performance as they lost 1-0 to their Belgian rivals on Wednesday night.

A win against Anderlecht earlier in the competition was enough to earn Celtic a spot in the knock-out stages of the Europa League, but Keane was less than impressed by their efforts as he chastised Rodgers for his lack of ambition.

“It was a shocking result, a really poor performance,” Keane told ITV Sport. “Brendan is talking about how it is a great achievement to get into the Europa League...I think it shows that the key to management these days is set your standards really, really low and you will be in the game a long time.

“That was unacceptable for Celtic. Losing at home to Anderlecht? Come on, give me a break.”

Rodgers offered up a very different version of Celtic’s attempts to mix it with Europe’s top sides in his post-match press conference last night, as he suggested they should be proud of their efforts to secure European football heading into the New Year.

“At this level, we are nowhere near it,” Rodgers said.

“I am pretty clear of where we are at as a squad and I am also realistic about what we can bring in. The challenge here is always to push and be the very best we can be, despite the resources we have. We have to find a way to try to represent Celtic and represent the nation the best we can.

“It is very difficult. We will always rely on the collective, we will always rely on the team. There won’t be one player for us at this level who is a massive standout. Our star is the team. That is the way it will always be.”

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