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  • Manager: We’ll go away, work hard and come back better

    Manager: We’ll go away, work hard and come back better

    By: Joe Donnelly on 29 Dec, 2018 15:39

  • BRENDAN Rodgers stressed the importance of being humble in victory, and honest in defeat following today’s Glasgow derby defeat. The Hoops nevertheless remain top of the SPFL table with a game in-hand - and the manager now turns his focus to working hard during the winter break, and returning to action fully-charged in January.

    Speaking after the game, Brendan Rodgers considered the Ibrox side worthy winners on the day, and praised the competitiveness of the Scottish Premiership this year.

    “We didn’t play well, and I think we made too many unforced mistakes,” admitted the manager. “We had to make a few changes early on in the game, which interrupted us a little bit in terms of what we might have wanted to do later on in the game.

    “I’ve got no real excuses. I think on the day, Rangers were better than us, unfortunately, and we didn’t have a good game. You always have to be humble enough when you win, but also honest when you lose. Rangers were better than us today, and we have to accept that.”

    Saturday’s game marked Brendan Rodgers’ first Rangers defeat since joining the club two-and-a-half years ago – his first derby loss in 13 games – and, despite the result, the Hoops boss singled Callum McGregor out for praise.  

    “We had a few breakaways and a few chances, Callum McGregor was unfortunate, and he was arguably our best attacking player – how he served the ball, how he moved forward and was very unlucky to be offside,” said the manager. “Olivier had a chance as well, and the young defender makes a good block. We defended well when we had to, but we probably weren’t as creative going forward as we’ve normally been here. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

    “I said before coming into the game: We’ll either be in a good position after the game, or a very good position. Of course, we’re still top with a game in hand. The league has shown that it’s very competitive, in this last six months – with Rangers, Hibs, Kilmarnock, Hearts, Aberdeen – so this result is great for the league.

    “But it doesn’t change anything that we didn’t already know before the game. We can hopefully get one or two reinforcements in that the squad needs, and go away, refresh, come back for the second part of the season, and fight for the points.”

    Brendan Rodgers said losing two defenders to injury in the first-half changed his overall game-plan, but credited the home side’s performance throughout. Likewise, he was keen to draw positives from the season so far as a whole, and looks forward to working hard during the January break and returning stronger.

    The manager added: “I’ve sat here having won and have played really well, but I sit here today having lost. You just have to accept that. It was a great first part of the season for us, these games are always difficult, but it’s been great for the league. It’s competitive, which is what we want, and we’ve had a fantastic 2018.

    “Today hurts, it always does, and some of our players haven’t experienced that at all. They’ll be better for it. Now we can go away, recover, press the reset button, work hard and come back better.”

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