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  • Manager hails players for superb second-half fightback

    Manager hails players for superb second-half fightback

    By: Mark Henderson on 23 Jan, 2018 22:40

  • BRENDAN Rodgers hailed his players for their fantastic second-half showing tonight as Celtic fought back to record a 2-1 victory over Partick Thistle at Firhill and move 11 points clear at the top of the table. 

    The Hoops trailed at the break to Conor Sammon’s penalty, but they restored parity through Scott Sinclair’s spot-kick, before substitute Leigh Griffiths completed the turnaround with a cool finish with 20 minutes left on the clock.  

    Speaking after the game, the manager said: “It was a very good win for us. I thought we played well overall in the game. We made a couple of mistakes in our build-up play in the first half and sometimes in the final third, we got into good positions and just lacked that last pass.

    "I thought we were deserving of a goal but it didn’t come and then we made a mistake for the penalty – it was a clear penalty.

    "Then as a team you are asked a question, and I thank the players as I had to put risk into the game by changing the system and take off a defender and go more attacking.

    "I thought the players really took to that in the second half and were absolutely fantastic. We scored two goals and could have had more and then defended really well so it was a very pleasing win for us.

    “On the back of a good performance at the weekend, I thought we looked sharp and bright tonight," continued the Irishman. "Of course there were some moments on the pitch which were difficult when we misplaced our passes. But overall I was very pleased with the intensity of the game and I thought some of our football was exceptional. It was a very pleasing win.

    Match-winner Griffiths is now only four goals short of a century of goals for the Bhoys, and the Hoops boss was not surprised to see him make such a positive impact after entering the fray at the start of the second period.

    “I thought he came on and did great for us," he said. "We were looking for him at the weekend but obviously he had his ankle injury.

    "He trained a couple of days and wasn’t fully match fit, but with him coming on, you know he gives you a threat for the goal, and that’s what you want your substitutes to do - either come on and make an impact like that or Nir Bitton coming on to close the game out. All the subs came on and performed very well.

    "I have a brilliant bunch of players here who are focused on their lives as footballers and they are brilliant whether they are playing or not.” 

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