Rodgers impressed by gritty Celtic

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GLASGOW: Brendan Rodgers praised Celtic’s resilience as they preserved their 15-month unbeaten domestic run by coming from behind to draw 1-1 with St Johnstone.

Rodgers’ side were stunned to find themselves behind at Parkhead on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) when Steven MacLean took advantage of a slack clearance from goalkeeper Craig Gordon to grab a 40th-minute opener.

However, the Scottish champions, unbeaten in domestic action since May 2016, got the equaliser their pressure deserved when substitute Callum McGregor struck 11 minutes from time.

And after a draining trip to Kazakhstan in midweek, where Celtic booked a Champions League group stage berth with an 8-4 aggregate win over FC Astana, Hoops boss Rodgers was delighted his side battled to maintain their unbeaten run.


“Coming back from a Champions League game, St John­stone are a very tough team to play against. We were a bit slow in the first half and I think the travelling had a real affect on us,” Rodgers said.

“I felt we lacked that bit of speed and energy in our game. But the reaction we were looking for from half time was amazing.

“We brought some more energy into the team and changed our system and that gave us a little bit of impetus for about 15 minutes.

“We then put more risk in the game and changed the shape and in that last 25 minutes we created so many opportunities that I just felt it was a matter of time.

“But credit to St Johnstone for the way they defended and the way their goalkeeper made some good saves.

“Okay, we always plan to win, but if you can’t, you’re looking for desire and reaction from your team and I thought in the second half it was amazing.”

AFP

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