Brendan Rodgers urges Celtic fans to support all of the team

Brendan Rodgers remained tight lipped last night on any move for Northern Ireland defender Paddy McNair, after watching his Celtic side go down 3-1 to Barcelona in Dublin, writes Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers spoke up for Efe Ambrose
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers spoke up for Efe Ambrose

Rodgers,was uncharacteristically hesitant when asked about a move for the Manchester United starlet, who has been linked with a switch away from Jose Mourinho’s side.

“I can’t deny or say yes to that,” Rodgers said. “There’s been so many players thrown our way, so I can’t comment on every one.”

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Rodgers, pictured, is aiming to bring in four new players before the season kicks off, and following another defensive slip-up by Efe Ambrose, who scored an own goal, defence will be an area he is keen to strengthen.

Some Celtic fans appeared to cheer when Ambrose was substituted, but Rodgers gave his support for the beleaguered Nigerian international.

“I think he’s an unlucky guy, bless him,” Rodgers said.

“I think a striker would have been proud of that goal. He was so unfortunate. I thought he did alright, okay at times, but he’s got himself in a decent enough area, the ball is whipped in, there is no real danger and for it to come off his leg that far outside the post and to go in the far corner is disappointing especially after us getting back into the game as well. Look, sometimes these things happen but overall he did okay.”

Ambrose was nutmegged by Luis Suarez for Barca’s third goal, and a section of the Hoops fans seemed to applaud his withdrawal on the hour. Rodgers didn’t hear it, but asked the fans to give him their full support if he’s chosen to face Astana in Wednesday night’s Champions League third qualifying round clash at Celtic Park. “If it was, it’s not nice,” he said... “whatever his faults are, I’ve come into the club and only been here a short period of time, but he’s a real good guy who gives his all for the club, devotes his life to Celtic, he prepares well, he trains well, he doesn’t cheat on anything.

“He trains every single day, he’s a man who wants to get better. It’s difficult if that does happen [jeers]. But I would like to think that the supporters will support everybody that plays whether that is Efe or anyone else. Whoever pulls on that green and white jersey needs support.”