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  • Manager: Odsonne's display showed he's a top talent

    Manager: Odsonne's display showed he's a top talent

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 03 Dec, 2017 13:31

  • IN what was only his third league start for Celtic, striker Odsonne Edouard netted a hat-trick to help the Hoops to a 5-1 home win over Motherwell.

    That treble earned him the match ball and the Man of the Match Award, as well as praise from his manager for what was an impressive individual display amidst an excellent team performance which extended the unbeaten domestic run to 67 games.

    Speaking after the game, Brendan Rodgers said: “Odsonne’s been very good in training and I just felt we needed more mobility at the top of the field. Our general play in our games, in particular the Wednesday game, was very good but to play against their centre-halves, I felt we needed more movement in front and in behind them, so we decided to go with Odsonne, and it was as a good performance as you will see.

    “For a young player of that age, he had everything in his game. For the first goal, if you watch the goal in the build-up - the constant mobility he has to show for it, set it, run across the line and then his movement to get in the box and finish, and this is something we have spoken to him on. He needs to become a real a real killer in the box and be in that area to score, and it was a great finish.

    “His other goal, he anticipates it and we win the first header and the second ball, and then he is away in a one-v-one. His pace was always going to take him away from people, and he finished it really well and the third one was about his anticipation.

    “If you watch it again, he is on his way as the ball is going to the keeper. He reads it, gets it and finishes it quickly.

    “He also has great movement to create James Forrest’s goal. He runs across the line and his movement takes away the defenders. It was a real complete performance by a big talent who has been unfortunate not to have more game-time. He has really settled in now and he’s enjoying and loving being at the club.

    “For me, it’s about the form of the players and you have to be performing in training and in the games, and Odsonne has taken his chance and was absolutely outstanding. He has been unfortunate as taking him in has kept the other two, in the main, fit.

    “Last year, one was fit and the other wasn’t. Bringing him in was always going to put a focus on the other two. He has the ability to start in every game, there is no question about that and it’s why we brought him here.

    “He is one of the top young players in world football for his age. He has just had to bide his time, settle in to the country and our way of working, but you can see that quality he has.”

    The Celtic manager was also delighted with another superb showing from James Forrest, who came off the bench and scored two goals, taking his tally this season to 10.

    “For me, James has been brilliant and it’s been a joy to see him grow and develop in my time here, just the confidence he plays with,” Brendan Rodgers said.

    “I wanted to change the dynamic of the team by putting him and Callum on as they are both boys who can take the ball in and keep the ball, and I felt at this stage of the game we had to do that.

    “You can see he is a real goal threat. They were two brilliant finishes and he’s high on confidence. I’m delighted to see it as he’s a big talent and he’s still so young with so much ahead of him.”

    Ahead of Saturday’s game, the manager also revealed that Patrick Roberts is facing a lengthy lay-off after picking up an injury in the midweek match against Motherwell at Fir Park.

    “It’s a big blow as he is one of the talents in our squad,” the Hoops boss admitted. “It’s not ideal for us and he has gone back to Man City to get a scan on it and he’s out until the new year.”

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