Rodgers calls for calm

Brendan Rodgers has told Celtic fans to stay calm following the fraught 1-1 Ladbrokes Premiership draw with St Johnstone.

There was some disgruntlement inside Celtic Park after goalkeeper Craig Gordon’s poor attempt to play out from the back led to Saints striker Steven MacLean firing in the opener just before the break.

That frustration was heard again in the second half when left-back Kieran Tierney gave possession away, which led the Northern Irishman to signal to the supporters to simmer down.

Substitute Callum McGregor scored a late leveller to extend the Hoops’ unbeaten domestic run to 53 matches.

Rodgers was happy to take responsibility for the visitors’ goal, saying: “I always ask the players to play, to have the courage and the nerve to do that and if they make a mistake it is up to me.

“We had one example with Kieran, under pressure with no-one near him, probably felt as a young player that he had to smash it forward and we end up giving the ball away.

“It (I) was signalling to stay calm. This is football.

“You have to stay calm when under pressure, not just the players but outside.

“Or you can play Scottish football. Just smash it up the pitch. It hasn’t got you anywhere for 20-odd years

“It is understandable that the supporters want to see the ball in the box.

“But I’ve said since I came up here, the quicker it goes forward the quicker it comes back at you.”

The former Swansea and Liverpool manager said there was no update on Patrick Roberts’ mooted return from Manchester City for a second loan spell, but added: “I expect between now and the end of the market (window) to have a number of additions to the squad.”

Rodgers revealed club physiotherapist Tim Williamson was in South Africa to complete the medical of 20-year-old defender Rivaldo Coetzee from Ajax Cape Town, but when reports of a foot injury were mentioned, he said: “Okay, I am awaiting on that. My understanding is that Tim is over there.

“I spoke to him last night, so I will get the clarification on that.”

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright revealed midfielder Murray Davidson lost consciousness on the pitch when he clashed with Aaron Comrie and Hoops skipper Scott Brown in the first minute.

Davidson was taken off the field in a stretcher to be replaced by Liam Craig and then taken to hospital.

Wright said: “We think he is going to get out of hospital tonight. That is good news.

“I think it was quite serious at the time.

“He may have damaged some of his teeth as well, but he certainly lost consciousness, but had regained it as he came off.

“It is an unfortunate accident, young Aaron got a cut on the head as well, but hopefully Murray will be okay.”

Wright also revealed McLean thought he was offside when a Craig block from Gordon’s clearance landed at his feet 12 yards out.

He said: “Steven being as honest as he is, said he was only messing about when he put it in.

“He thought he was offside, I did, but it was the right decision because (Anthony) Ralston I think is right on the touchline.

“So just as well he scored. If Steven could have scored at 1-0, going 2-0 might have been enough to end up getting a victory, but to have 10 points out of 12 I can’t really complain, I am absolutely delighted.”

 

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