Brendan Rodgers claimed the loss of poor goals rather than lack of pragmatism was the major contributing factor to his side’s 3-0 Champions League defeat away to Bayern Munich last night, with the Celtic manager insisting the loss will not derail his bid to stay in Europe beyond Christmas.
Goals from Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich and Mats Hummels brought an easy win for the German champions on an evening where Rodgers detected positives. The biggest, though, was events in Brussels where a 4-0 win for Paris Saint-Germain over Anderlecht ensured that Celtic stay three points ahead of the pointless Belgians in the hunt for the third place in Group B that provides entry into the Europa League.
“It’s not about being pragmatic at the goals we conceded,” he said. “We didn’t defend our box well enough when the crosses came in. We can do better with those. But, listen, I would rather lose a game playing how we want to play and how we want to work rather than sitting in and defending for 90 minutes and still losing, if that’s the case. Myself, my staff and the players can take lots of positives and have lots to look forward to in the second game against them at Celtic Park
“For this group and this squad, it is about constructing a mindset and a way of working. It is not going to happen overnight. There are a lot of elements. You come away into these big arenas and big games and you want to show the level of your football. That won’t change. We will look to do that, rather than sitting in and suffering during every game. I think my players gave absolutely everything tonight. This is a really honest group of men, who have been amazing domestically and to qualify for this competition. It’s a huge ask for us. Progress for us is to be in Europe after Christmas and that is still our aim and still our focus.”