Brendan Rodgers admits Oh Hyeon-gyu has 'tough ask' at Celtic as striker offered no assurances despite St Mirren winner
The 22-year-old’s strike marked his first goal since a double in the 5-1 thrashing of Aberdeen in the final league game of last season. The attacker’s opportunities have been rationed in this campaign, though, and the Irishman didn’t pretend that situation would suddenly be altered by his match-winning exploits.
“It’s always difficult for the guys who are playing behind,” he said. “But all they can do is maintain a strong mentality. That sort of second striker playing behind a top striker [in Kyogo Furuhashi]…it’s a tough ask. But everything about him is very good…apart from taking corners. It was a great finish. A nice little combination with Kyogo, and Odin [Holm] can shoot if he’s selfish. But he plays a lovely pass in and the big guy takes his touch and it’s a wonderful finish. I’m really pleased for him.
”For the guys who aren’t playing so much, you always have to recognise and acknowledge their effort which I do with them. He looks after his body, his diet, everything is superb. He’s so professional, he looks at his training and he knows when asked upon he can come in and make an impact.”
David Turnbull did that with a sumptuous curling effort to cancel out an early Conor McMenamin header, only to then miss a penalty, but with the game the third of seven across three weeks, Rodgers was content that he could deploy a number of players with little game-time in recent weeks and derive vital contributions from them.
“It’s about the squad. When you are playing the number of games that we are in close proximity, and everyone wants to beat a champion, every team will raise their game, you know that you have to rely on your squad. Some of our players who’ve been regular and have been outstanding this season looked a wee bit leggy.
“That’s the beauty of being able to call on the guys to come in. Odin was fresh and bright. David also scored a super goal. He maybe rushed his penalty, you just have to take your time and finish it. But the team reacted so well to that.”
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