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  • Manager calls for efficiency in front of goal against Rosenborg

    Manager calls for efficiency in front of goal against Rosenborg

    By: Tony Connelly on 20 Sep, 2018 08:59

  • BRENDAN Rodgers called for an improvement from his attacking players for tonight’s Europa League opener against Rosenborg as Celtic look to lay down a marker in their group.

    The Norwegian champions scored an early goal when they were last in Glasgow less than two months ago but Celtic responded well and ended the game with a dominant 3-1 win before knocking Rosenborg out of the Champions League qualifying tie.

    After being drawn in Group B of the Europa League, alongside FC Salzburg, RB Leipzig, the Hoops and Rosenborg will face each other again less than two months on from their last meeting.

    Brendan Rodgers’ side will look to secure another convincing win tonight and this time will be confident of keeping a clean sheet having done so in their last four games.

    The manager praised his side for their stability at the back, but he admitted he would be looking for more in front of goal after Celtic were held to a goal-less draw against St Mirren last week in the league.

    “We have to try and improve our level of performances,” he said. “My trust in the players is 100 per cent. They’ve been brilliant since I came in here. However, we need to improve, especially in the final third of the pitch.

    “Defensively we’ve been solid in our last four games where we’ve kept clean sheets, but we need to do more in the attacking third of the pitch.

    “In every game we go into we try to ensure we have that energy, intensity and quality and we need to be clinical with our opportunities. That’s something we’ve talked about and focused on in our training and we’ll look to bring that into this next run of games.”

    This will be the fifth time in 14 months that Celtic have met Rosenborg in European competition, having knocked the Nordic side out of Champions League qualification for the past two seasons.

    Brendan Rodgers was confident that Celtic could get their Europa League campaign off to a winning start, but he added that his team were expecting to face an even stronger Rosenborg side tonight.

    “It’s always a challenge and it doesn’t matter how many times you play an opponent,” he warned. “You’ve seen that up here in the last two years. We can play a team six times a year and every game presents a different challenge.

    “We’ve prepared well, they’re a good team and we respect them and their qualities but we want to bring our game and our energy and hopefully start the group with three points.

    “They’re a good side and we’ll always look to win our home games to give ourselves every opportunity. We get great support for all our games at home, particularly the European games. Hopefully we can start well tonight, your home games are always very important.”

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