Brendan Rodgers insists Celtic’s 7-1 Champions League drubbing in Paris last night will have no negative impact on their preparations for Sunday’s Betfred Cup Final against Motherwell.
Despite scoring first through Moussa Dembele, the Scottish champions found themselves on the sharp end of another footballing lesson from Paris Saint-Germain who won 5-0 at Celtic Park earlier in the Group B campaign.
Celtic manager Rodgers was determined to remain upbeat afterwards, claiming the defeat did not discourage him in the same manner as last season’s record 7-0 European loss away to Barcelona.
A place in the Europa League knockout stage is still within Celtic’s grasp if they can hold onto third place in Group B when they entertain Anderlecht, who lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich last night, on 5 December.
More immediately, Celtic’s focus switches to their defence of the first piece of domestic silverware this season and Rodgers promised his players will quickly put their chastening experience in Paris behind them.
“Of course you have professional pride,” said Rodgers. “You’re not happy when you concede seven goals. But it’s dovetailed with admiration for a PSG team who I’d be very surprised if they didn’t reach the Champions League final.
“We will be absolutely fine for Sunday. We will be even more determined to win the League Cup final.
“We conceded seven goals in Barcelona last year and I was very disappointed after that. But in a strange way there were lots of good moments in this game for us. We scored first and you could see the belief we had in the way we were working. We were defending strong and had a good focus. We gave the ball away in midfield which gave them the opportunity for the first goal. The spell after that was most disappointing, the way we gave the goals away from corners and set-pieces.
“But you also have to admit the sheer quality of PSG. They must have had 11 shots and seven went in.”
Celtic captain Scott Brown admitted he and his team-mates were culpable of poor defending. “Losing by seven goals, nobody likes to do that,” said Brown. “Some of the goals were sloppy, the first three goals maybe.”