Celtic reaction: Brendan Rodgers reacts to crowd's jeers, takes aim at pitch and says numerous areas being looked at for transfers

Celtic manager also confirms switch of penalty taker following Palma's double miss

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers made no attempt to gloss over the inescapable disconnect between the club and fanbase in demonstrating extraordinary candour as he reacted to the jeering that greeted the final whistle for his side’s unconvincing 1-0 win over Ross County.

It was a sixth straight victory of the Scottish champions – a sequence during which they have conceded only one goal – but the stultifying nature of it did not prove acceptable to a support already approaching the end of their tethers over the lack of transfer activity across the window beyond the acquisition of Nicolas Kuhn. The winger was handed his debut as a second half substitute as Celtic toiled to put away Highland opponents on a surface that Rodgers rubbished as a “more a field than a pitch”, as he made no absolutely no pitch for more positive backing from the stands.

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“I’ve had that since I’ve been here,” Rodgers said of the booing at full-time. “If it’s not the result, it’s me. If not me, the board. So, all we can do as a team is win games, and try to improve and develop – and win. That’s what the team has done. The team and ourselves as staff work hard every day together, and that’s how we will continue to be. If it falls below the expectation, then we’ll do everything we can to be better.”

Celtic's Callum McGregor and Ross County's Victor Loturi in action.Celtic's Callum McGregor and Ross County's Victor Loturi in action.
Celtic's Callum McGregor and Ross County's Victor Loturi in action.

Celtic’s pitch has patently fallen entirely below what it is entitled to be expected of a club of their standing. The Northern Irishman did not sugercoat on a day their penalty taking also proved sub-standard. Rodgers stated that Luis Palma would be removed from such duties after he not only had a spot-kick saved by County goalkeeper George Wickens approaching the half hour, but then also a retake he was afford after a VAR review had spotted encroachment from the man in the County goal, who saved both efforts down to his right.

The Celtic manager seemed less troubled by the Honduran’s aberrations than by the struggles that a rutted surface are presenting for his personnel. “When you speak to the players and opposition it’s a bit of a surprise,” he said. “But you look at [Liam] Scales’ pass, it comes off the toe and popped off, [Matt] O’Riley’s popped up and the fans get anxious but that’s the pitch. Then Cal [Callum McGregor] gets ready to take a shot and it pops up and nearly goes up towards the top tier. We have to deal with it. I don’t know why [the pitch is like that].

“I know speaking to the staff it has been the situation over the last few years. It’s something as a club we need to address, as a flagship club in Scotland and especially with how we want to play. It’s not overloaded with games – it’s more a field than a pitch. That’s the reality, but however it sits we have to get the job done and thankfully we did that.”

Palma’s inability to get the job given to him as penalty taker, made for his second and third misses – though the latest two an be considered the same spot-kick essentially – meant Celtic have now missed four of their 11 such awards this season. “It’s something that’s worked on in training but you’ve got to be able to do that in the game so, when you miss two, we’ll have to look at another taker.”

Rodgers didn’t sound exactly assured that the further reinforcements craved by the support – and privately him – would be recruited before the window closes next week. “There are a number of areas we’re looking at,” he said. “I can only concentrate on the players I have here. There are areas we are looking to improve on. Hopefully there’s movement, that’s the plan. Getting that player in who can help our level and let us develop. Hopefully that’s the case.”