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  • Manager: Celts will play without fear in Leipzig

    Manager: Celts will play without fear in Leipzig

    By: Newsroom Staff on 24 Oct, 2018 18:45

  • BRENDAN Rodgers has called on his Celtic side to play without fear when they come up against RB Leipzig tomorrow night in Germany.

    Celtic take on the German side at the Red Bull Arena on matchday three of the UEFA Europa League, looking to add to the three points they secured in the opening fixture against Rosenborg.

    And while the Hoops boss knows his side face a tough test against one of the top sides in the Bundesliga, the Scottish champions go into the game full of confidence following some impressive domestic displays.

    “It’s about going and performing and not being afraid to make mistakes,” he said ahead of Thursday night’s Euro ie. “We’re playing against one of the top teams in Germany but we still have to show our way of playing and when we do that we know we can cause problems. That’s what we’re looking to do, perform well and get a result from that.

    “What’s important is we have three points already in the group. We knew our home games were going to be important. In Salzburg we made a great start but we didn’t play our game. We were too defensive and too deep. Even then, we had one or two opportunities, and then conceded poor goals in the second half.

    “For us, we want to start we’ll and be consistent in the performance. We know there’ll be moments of pressure so it’s important to defend together. On the other side you have to be able to play quickly when you’re being pressed. We come here with confidence, and our last couple of games domestically have been very good. We’ve been much more efficient with our game, the speed of our game has been good, and this gives an opportunity to some of the other guys in the squad.”

    Scott Brown and Leigh Griffiths will miss the game, and the manager revealed that Tom Rogic hadn’t travelled with the tem while Filip Benkovic will be assessed over the next 24 hours. James Forrest is ruled out through suspension after picking up a red card in the previous game. But the manager said he was confident that his starting XI would be capable of getting a good result.

    “The next couple of games are going to be very important,” he said. “For us to have an opportunity to take something from the game it’s about performing to a high level. We’ll look to take our form, which has been building over the last few weeks, into the game tomorrow.

    “The injuries are unfortunate, given that the fluency and efficiency in the team is getting back to the level we want it to be at. We can still build on that in the performance tomorrow. This is what these players have been waiting for, the opportunity to play and really experience what it’s like to be a Celtic player.

    “Defensively we have to be strong and aggressive in our press but also show our method and quality on the ball. It’s always important away from home to defend well and then go and cause a problem for your opponent.”

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