Brendan Rodgers is confident his players can replicate the away form they showed in their best Champions League displays last season in order to progress to the play-off round of this year’s competition.
Celtic were held to a 0-0 draw by Rosenborg in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie last night with the Norwegian champions creating the better scoring chances.
But Rodgers believes his team are suited to the task awaiting them in Trondheim next Wednesday where a scoring draw would be enough to take them into the play-off round.
“If we play like we did in Monchengladbach and at Manchester City, then we are through,” said the Celtic manager in reference to the 1-1 draws the Scottish champions secured in those group stage fixtures last year.
“Next week we can go there and play. There will be a bit more space. We will go there confident, knowing we can score goals. We look forward to it.”
Celtic struggled without strikers Moussa Dembele, likely to be sidelined by a hamstring injury until September, and Leigh Griffiths who has a calf injury on top of the suspension which ruled him out last night.
“It was a little bit frustrating we couldn’t get the win tonight,” added Rodgers. “But 0-0 is never a bad result in Europe. What’s important is that if you can’t score, then don’t concede.
“I was very pleased with the players in terms of being up against it without strikers and how they adapted to that. They showed an ability to be patient and look for openings. Chances can be few and far between at this level. We just needed that final ball.
“You can see Rosenborg are a good side. But they will also know they will want to come out a bit more at home, take the initiative, which opens up space for us.
“Last season, we scored more goals away from home. It’s still evenly balanced and we will be another week fitter for the second leg.
“I’m hopeful Leigh will be back for the second leg but we’ll see. He couldn’t have played tonight even if he had been available.”
Rosenborg coach Kare Ingebrigtsen had a slight sense of regret that his team had failed to convert any of the opportunities they created but believes they are now in a strong position to win the tie.
“Celtic dominated possession tonight, that was okay for us,” said Ingebrigtsen. “We could have put away one of those big chances and I felt we were the closest team to winning the game.
“I would have been more happy with 1-1, but I’ll take 0-0. Now it’s a cup final, it’s all about winning it next week. We go home with everything to play for. At home, we are even better than we were tonight.
“I’m more confident now. Celtic is still a big task for us but we are confident we can win the home game. It’s still 50-50, so we can leave Celtic as the favourites.”