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  • Manager: Edouard was the spark Celts needed in win over Morton

    Manager: Edouard was the spark Celts needed in win over Morton

    By: Tony Connelly on 03 Mar, 2018 15:39

  • BRENDAN Rodgers hailed Odsonne Edouard as the spark that ignited Celtic’s victory over Greenock Morton in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup.

    With the game goal-less at half-time, the French forward was introduced for the start of the second half and he proved to be instrumental in helping Celtic secure a 3-0 win at Paradise and book their place in the semi-final.

    Moussa Dembele hit a double with Edouard was rewarded for his efforts with Celtic's third of the afternoon with a couple of minutes remaining.

    Speaking to the media immediately following the game, the Celtic manager heaped praise on the 20-year-old forward and credited him with helping to turn the game around.

    “I wanted to change it at half-time,” he said. “I think Odsonne made a huge difference to the game. I changed the shape of the team and we had much better control and intensity in the second half. I’m really pleased to get into the semi-final again this year. I’m pleased with the second half but not so happy with the first half.

    “I thought Odsonne was very, very good. He’s a young player I rate very highly. He can play in a number of positions. He has strength, power and he threatens in behind because he’s quick but he can link the game as well.

    “I felt Edouard and Dembele occupied the back four really well. They’re both quick and Odsonne wants to run in behind. His link-up play and hold-up play is really good. He had two good chances before he scored the goal. For today’s game he provided the spark that the team needed and I thought he was excellent when he came on.”

    Dembele’s brace saw him take his goalscoring tally to 12 for the season so far and Brendan Rodgers said the Celtic forward looked to have regained his desire in front of goal.

    “I think you can see Moussa has that hunger back to score,” said the manager. “In the second half, like the rest of the team, he was much better.

    “It was a good header. He got himself in position freely in the box for the cross and then he had the composure. The link-up play was much better and that bit of combination play got us the penalty.

    “He was unfortunate the ball wouldn’t quite sit for him in the second half a couple of times to get his hat-trick but he’s on form and has shown his qualities, so I’m pleased with him and he’s worked very well."

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