Brendan Rodgers makes Celtic blood pressure and 'write our own story' admission as Motherwell left frustrated by killer goal

The Celtic boss was delighted with the way his team roared back to get a big win at Fir Park

Brendan Rodgers admitted managing Celtic is not good for the blood pressure, but hailed his team for continuing to “write their own story” after two stoppage-time goals helped defeat Motherwell 3-1 at Fir Park.

The Steelmen led at the interval thanks to Blair Spittal’s 42nd minute opener, but Celtic rallied after the break. Substitute Adam Idah netted twice, the first a 51st minute header and then a composed finish four minutes into stoppage time before Luis Palma added a third right at the death. It means the gap between Premiership leaders Rangers and second-placed Celtic remains two points after the weekend’s fixtures.

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"We weren't so good in the first half, the passes were too long and not enough connection in our game,” admitted Rodgers. “And to concede a goal from a throw-in was disappointing. But I'm very, very proud of the team. We reiterated at half time just to play our game. I could sense a wee bit of anxiety in our passing and not quite clean enough with it. And obviously when you are giving the ball away, it can make you feel like that. But it was just a case of some positional shifts and just reinforcing the mentality, and then obviously we get an early goal in the second half and then the football flows. I thought we were outstanding in the second half.

Brendan Rodgers hails the Celtic fans following the 3-1 win over Motherwell.Brendan Rodgers hails the Celtic fans following the 3-1 win over Motherwell.
Brendan Rodgers hails the Celtic fans following the 3-1 win over Motherwell.

“Celtic’s never good for the blood pressure, that’s for sure! It never is. It shows the belief, and that has to be at the forefront of everything, because that comes before performance. Before you go out onto the pitch, you need to believe, and that’s what we work on with the players. It hasn’t been the most fluent this season for so many reasons, but now I think we are getting some key players back and it is starting to really stiffen it up for us. It allows us to have that base to attack the games, and they have that belief to keep going. It is what this club is known for, and every group has to have it. If you play for Celtic, you need to keep going until the very end.”

Rodgers accepted that had Celtic not found two late goals, then the narrative would have been that his team are losing their grip on title. “Absolutely,” the manager replied. “And I think the story is already written for us this season, and that is the one thing that I reinforce with the players. All the noise, everything that has been around this team for virtually the whole season. We get the chance to write our story, no one else. And that is what we will do. Today was very, very important for that, for the belief, so now we go into our next game and the optics of it are that its two points and very, very close. I think that is how it is going to be through to the end, but it’s about playing with that mentality I the second half. When we do that, we look a really good team.”

His Motherwell counterpart Stuart Kettlewell lamented the “killer” goal from Idah and the way it was conceded. “I’m just so frustrated at the second goal because that’s the killer in the game, we’re dealing with large parts of what their threat is,” he said. “We’re trying to apply pressure around our 18-yard-box and purely a miscommunication or a lack of a handover to Celtic receiving the ball in our penalty area, with the opportunity to feed a striker who’s already scored in the game. It sounds like I’m trying to vindicate myself but we worked on it tirelessly this week.”