Thursday 14 November 2019

Rodgers delighted as Sinclair gets Hoops back on track


Celtics manager Brendan Rodgers. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtics manager Brendan Rodgers. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

Nigel Whittaker

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was delighted with his Bhoys' resilience as they came through a tough test against Aberdeen on Saturday to record their first win in three league games.

The Dons posed a threat at Parkhead, where they started with two strikers and two wingers, with Gary Mackay-Steven particularly dangerous.

Celtic lost record signing Odsonne Edouard to a dead leg following a reckless challenge from Scott McKenna but his replacement, Scott Sinclair, proved the match-winner with a back-heeled goal in the 63rd minute.

It was only Celtic's seventh league goal - by this time last season they had netted 18 and it was 24 at the same stage in Rodgers' first season.

Rodgers, who expects Edouard to recover in time to face Salzburg on Thursday, said: "For us, I think we have shown another side - that's seven clean sheets in eight games.

"Yep, okay, we have played a couple of years where it's been all singing, all dancing, lots of chances and goals and records.

"At times in football you also have to show resilience and a spirit. And until we get back to that, and I believe our movement and creativity is returning, you have got to win games and find a way to win.

"I think that game earlier on in the season could have been 0-0. We kept pushing and eventually we get the win, so I'm delighted for the players.

"Our summer was complicated. We lost key players. We have to find a way and the players again showed, when they had to, they were strong and tough against a really tough opponent. It was a brilliant win for us."

Rodgers feels it could be a big goal for Sinclair, who had netted only twice in his previous 31 appearances.

"There's no doubt players like Scotty really thrive on goals," Rodgers said.

"I always try to reiterate it's very much more than that.

"But there's no doubt coming into the game and making the impact that he has, and you saw in his celebration how happy he was and how happy the team are. It will do him the world of good."

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has warned his Rangers players that they can wave goodbye to their title hopes if they repeat the horror show which saw them beaten 1-0 by Livingston yesterday.

The Ibrox boss admitted his side could have played all day and not found the net at the Tony Macaroni Arena, where Dolly Menga hit the winner.

The result saw Rangers slide down to sixth spot in the table and they now trail Craig Levein's table-topping Hearts by eight points just seven games into the season.

The Tynecastle men visit Ibrox next Sunday and Gerrard warned his stuttering squad: "Hearts was a must-win game whether we won, drew or lost today.

"It is still early on in the season so we can recover from a result like this like we recovered from the Old Firm loss. But this can't keep happening."

Irish Independent

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