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  • Manager: Bhoys were a joy to watch in Dundee win

    Manager: Bhoys were a joy to watch in Dundee win

    By: Tony Connelly on 22 Dec, 2018 20:01

  • BRENDAN Rodgers described Celtic’s 3-0 win over Dundee as a joy to watch and praised Academy players, Mikey Johnston and Anthony Ralston, for continuing their impressive performances in recent games.

    Celtic treated Hoops supporters to an impressive attacking display in the final home game of 2018 as they swept aside Dundee to extend their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership, thanks to goals from Mikey Johnston, who hit two, and Filip Benkovic.

    Speaking to the media after the game, the manager said Celtic’s performance was one of the best he has witnessed in his time at the club and was only disappointed that they could not win by a greater margin.

    “It was probably one of the most enjoyable games I’ve been involved in in the two-and-a-half-years that I’ve been here,” said Brendan Rodgers. “At this time of year sometimes the team can be a bit leggy and the intensity hasn’t been quite to the level that we would have wanted.

    “I really enjoyed watching us today. We kept the pitch nice and tight and pressed the game in numbers. I thought we were really fresh and dynamic in how we won the ball. Dundee have shown they have some good players who can give you a problem.

    “We really stopped them playing and were good in our defensive organisation to press the game. That allowed us to play in their half for large parts of the game. When we were in there, I thought some of our combinations, the speed and movement was excellent. The only downside was that we only got three goals.”

    Mikey Johnston started his second league game of the season three days after scoring his first competitive goal in the senior side which came in Wednesday’s 3-0 win against Motherwell. Brendan Rodgers singled out the 19-year-old for praise after he scored a brace in the win over Dundee.

    “Mikey was very, very good,” said the manager. “As a young player coming through here I’m aware he’s played in the attacking positions across the front line and he has an instinct to score a goal. He wants to score so he runs towards the goal and his first goal came off the back of a really good pass from Callum.

    !It was a brilliant piece of skill to chop it inside and finish the way he did against a keeper who made some really good saves today.

    “I thought he was exceptional in his play, his touch and his movement. That came off the back of playing during the week as well. Sometimes players can be a bit leggy but he lasted the game very well.”

    Anthony Ralston started at right-back for the second consecutive game and the manager said he was similarly pleased with the Academy player’s performance.

    “I thought Tony Ralston was very good," the Hoops boss said. "He’s now back to where I want him to be. He wasn’t at that level for a period of time because of his injury but he’s worked so hard. He came into the game and defended very well.

    “He’s strong and a hard guy to get past. You can see the development in his game now. He’s serving the ball, passing it simple and has a good tactical idea of what he’s doing.”

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