Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic side faced a disappointing home draw against St Johnstone, just a week prior to their triumph in the Glasgow Derby.

Brendan Rodgers
Soccer Football – Scottish Premiership – Rangers v Celtic – Ibrox, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain – September 3, 2023 Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Despite being favorites, the Hoops struggled to showcase their usual flair and fell short of the expected standards. They did, however, carve out some opportunities to take the lead but lacked the necessary precision in front of goal.

Reflecting on the result, Rodgers drew a parallel to a past setback his team faced in his first game as manager.

Speaking to Celtic TV, he recalled the 1-0 defeat to Lincoln Red Imps in the Champions League qualifiers during what later became Celtic’s invincible season. Celtic bounced back from that loss, securing a 3-1 aggregate victory in the return leg.

Drawing a connection between the two fixtures, Rodgers remarked: “When I was here the first time, that really crystallized everything in terms of the players and the improvement. And I think that was the Gibraltar game when we lost. For me, the Saint Johnston game will be that.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll look back at the end of the season, and that game crystallized some of the items that we needed to be better in, within the game, within the structure, within the mentality. And then, obviously, we were able to go and get a very good result.

“So for me, moving forward, we’ll get into an exciting part of the season with some more players back. But we have to really consolidate that good victory against Rangers by winning and winning well at the weekend.”

The derby win will undoubtedly gove the team some confidence, but playing against another low block will be the ultimate challenge and show supporters that improvemenst have been made.


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