Brendan Rodgers: Celtic's pride wounded by PSG thrashing
Brendan Rodgers admits Celtic's pride suffered a blow in midweek and is looking for a response against Ross County on Saturday.
The Hoops’ comprehensive 5-0 defeat to star-studded Paris St Germain in their Champions League opener on Tuesday was their heaviest ever at home in a European competition.
The Scottish champions, however, remain unbeaten on the domestic front since May 2016, and Rodgers wants to get back to winning ways in the Ladbrokes Premiership clash against the Staggies at Celtic Park.
“Your professional pride hurts,” said the Northern Irishman, referring to the PSG game.
“We are used to winning games and we are used to, I suppose, inflicting that type of performance on opponents.
“That is a set-back against one of the great teams but the beauty is that you learn from that, that is key and we have always shown that.
“The players were great in training and very focused on their next game.
“You are always preparing for the next game in football. You have a disappointment but very quickly you are on to your next game.
“Ross County will be a difficult game, a different challenge for us.
“But we go into it with the same ideas, to look to win the game.
“It is still very early on in the season but we have started the league campaign very well and we want it to continue.”
Callum McGregor hopes Celtic’s response to their harsh European lesson is as positive as it was following last season’s Catalan calamity.
The 24-year-old midfielder, who signed a new contract until 2021 two days after the hammering by the French club, referred back to the 7-0 thrashing by Barcelona at the start of the 2016/17 tournament which was the Glasgow club’s heaviest defeat in Europe.
Although Rodgers’ side finished bottom of their section the Hoops fought out three morale-boosting draws - two against Manchester City and one against Borussia Monchengladbach - and went on to win the domestic treble without losing a game.
“They (PSG) will be expected to go all the way in the competition,” said McGregor.
“In terms of football they were different class, the way they popped it one and two touch and we struggled to get the press on.
“It is a good learning experience for us.
“You saw the Barcelona game last season, we came back and were a lot stronger as a group and kicked on in the league and cups and we will be hoping there will be a similar effect this season.
“You have to try to move on and learn from it. You try to take the little positives and we will be stronger as a group for that.”