Celts kicked in the long grass, Naismith ban looms

BRENDAN RODGERS post match thoughts, standing up to Hearts physically and the long grass.

“We weren’t going to be outdone physically like the last time.

“It was a similar feeling to the last game here, but it showed the players are learning all the time.

“We stayed calm when they scored. We made a mistake for Kyle Lafferty getting in, but how we dealt with that and came through was excellent.

“It was a totally different type of game to last week, which showed our mental strength and physicality in the game, which was very pleasing.

“I thought the win was outstanding, but we couldn’t play our normal game. I’m a little bit embarrassed because of the pitch.

“The grass was too long. It’s not just to suit us, I’m talking about football, in general. Steven Naismith has played in the Premier League a lot of his life and you saw their players, and they couldn’t pass the ball.

“I was a disappointed from a football perspective. It was the first time in my life I have said to a team of mine – listen, building the game from behind is a huge risk. Why? Because the ball is getting stuck.

“At half-time, I had to say we’re going to have to play a more direct game. We can’t build the game and then to play in their half. From then, we dominated the game in the second-half.

“From a football perspective, and for spectators, that wasn’t football.”

BT Pundit and former Celtic striker Chris Sutton was in no doubt that Steven Naithsmith should have been sent off.

“I called him a coward at half-time and I stand by it. Naismith should have been off for both challenges on Brown and Forrest.

“Both were shocking and potential leg breakers.”

On the tackle on his captain Scott Brown, Brendan Rodgers commented:

“You only need to see it. The ball was gone and the follow through is there to see.

“The ball was well gone and it wasn’t just late, it was very late. It will be just interesting to see what the authorities make of that.”

The Compliance Officer will surely look at this on Tuesday morning and that will mean a well deserved ban.

After all Scottish football needs protection from Steven Naismith.

Check out our slide show from Tynecastle…

From Tenerife the Tynecastle for Another Beauitiful Sunday…read HERE

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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