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Celtic fans need to be patient, says Rodgers

By July 19, 2016No Comments

Brendan Rodgers says fans will need to be patient as Celtic look to overturn their first leg deficit against Lincoln Red Imps.

The Hoops trail 1-0 before the second leg of their Champions League qualifier after they suffered embarrassment in Gibraltar.

The Scottish champions are still expected to comfortably progress into the next round of qualifiers to face either Astana or Zalgiris Vilnius.

However, Rodgers expects the visitors to attempt to frustrate Celtic and play 10 men behind the ball on Wednesday.

Asked if the fans need to be patient, he said: “Yes, absolutely no question. The message to the players is similar to the supporters, is that first 20 minutes if we don’t score a goal then you have to be patient and for that you need the support.

“But thankfully, I understand the Celtic supporters, they understand the game, they know football and patience is something they have been accustomed to.

“You can be an attacking team but there are times when the ball can’t go forward and it has to be circulated.

“But our team will always be set up to create and score goals.

“If it doesn’t come the message is, they just have to be patient because you might take you one hour or 70 minutes in any game before you break a team down and then you can score two, three, four, five goals in the last 20 minutes.

“So if the game is needing the patience then I am sure the Celtic supporters will support the team.”

Rodgers admits having crucial European qualifiers at this stage of the campaign is different to what he has been used to. The former Liverpool and Swansea boss would previously have been preparing his side for league games in August – not huge games in July.

“It’s not so much a shock, just been interesting to experience it. You are preparing for your first league game of the season but of course it is the Champions League and you have to accept and adapt to that,” he said.

“But that you can’t get away from the preparation phase as well because the players are still looking to gain fitness as well.”

Rodgers is hopeful of bringing in a couple of new players, with the Hoops linked with Blackburn’s Shane Duffy and Liverpool’s Jon Flanagan in recent days but the Hoops boss remained coy on his targets.

“I know what I want to bring in here but that just takes time.

“Hopefully, there is a couple of players that we are looking at but we will see how that develops over the coming days.”

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