Brendan Rodgers: Celtic players deserve more credit

Celtic's Moussa Dembele, left, celebrates his second goal with team-mate Mikael Lustig
Celtic's Moussa Dembele, left, celebrates his second goal with team-mate Mikael Lustig
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Brendan Rodgers has called for greater appreciation of his players’ abilities as they close in on equalling Celtic’s own all-time UK undefeated record in domestic matches.

Last night’s 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie opened up a three-point lead over the Dons at the top of the Premiership and stretched Celtic’s current unbeaten run against Scottish opponents to 61 games.

They can now match the benchmark 62-match sequence set by Willie Maley’s Celtic side from 1915 to 1917 when they take on Kilmarnock at Parkhead on Saturday. Rodgers, pictured, who insists he wasn’t aware of that piece of history, hopes his team’s achievements will be attributed to their quality rather than the perceived weakness of opposition.

“I hear a lot of that, the ease at which Celtic do it here,” said Rodgers. “But you have to give credit to our players. They have the courage to go into position to accept the ball. That can drag a team about. When you play to that speed and quality it’s very hard sometimes to get there.

“If you have control and you can dominate you have chances to score.

“Tonight was about Celtic and our quality as opposed to what Aberdeen didn’t do.

“There was a big focus on this game. The level of football, the idea and composure to play a top-of-the-table clash against a team that’s very good, to play to that level and tactically with that quality and understanding.

“We should have scored more but how we defended and pressed was a wonderful demonstration of football.”

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes had no complaints about the outcome. He said: “We got a lesson tonight.

“It was a tough watch. Celtic were very good from the first minute to the last. They went with that extra midfielder and in hindsight maybe I could have done something similar.

“We tried to be brave with two strikers. I can rack my brains over system and personnel but, when Celtic are in that mood, they will win the game. The gulf is huge in terms of what they can do and bring to the club. They take my best player last year [Jonny Hayes]. My best player arguably this year is a Celtic player [Ryan Christie] and I cannot play him tonight. I think we can learn from tonight. There will be a bit of soul searching.”