Oh Bhoy – “It’s a wonderful finish,” Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers praised his squad players who came in last night and made the difference against St Mirren to turn around the loss of an early goal to secure the vital three points for the Champions.

And the impact from the likes of David Turnbull, Yang, Odin Thiago Holm and Oh will give the manager more options for the weekend trip to Dingwall. Then it’s back to Champions league duty with probably the toughest of the six fixtures – away to Atletico Madrid.

Cameron Carter-Vickers was rested last night and perhaps should sit out the game against Ross County too, with Madrid in mind. The same could be said about Callum McGregor, Alistair Johnston , Greg Taylor and perhaps even Kyogo, Matt O’Riley and Luis Palma with maybe more options available after last night’s performances to play squad players in Dingwall.

The winning goal featured a brilliant assist from Holm and a wonderful finish from Oh and both players, together with our best winger on the night Yang should mean the manager has more options than perhaps he thought himself ahead of that game at Easter Road.

Here’s Brendan talking about the later winner against St Mirren in his post match media conference. “It was coming. Listen, it’s one of those ones – you know the game lasts 90 plus minutes so you trust your team. They’ve scored late goals already this season. It’s the make-up of this club to keep going and persevere.

“I was really just pleased with the quality of the winning goal. We saw that at Motherwell when we got that winner late on (from Matt O’Riley). With 80-odd minutes on the clock here, you can start to panic but we worked the ball really well,” Brendan stated.

“The goal was terrific. Of course, you can never be sure but I trust the team that they will keep going until the end and when you do that opportunities will come. It’s part of the value of this team – that ability to keep going. When you bring in players you are always looking for players who have that resilience in their make-up.

“It’s part of what you do when you recruit a player. When you play for a club like this one, there’s no choice – you keep fighting, you keep running and allow your quality to come through and that’s exactly what happened.

“We had a penalty and Kyogo had a chance as well. So we could have been more comfortable in the scoreline. At 2-1, you just want to grind it out and get the result.”

The Celtic manager also praised Oh Hyeon-gyu who grabbed that sensational winner and Rodgers expressed his own delight for the Korean international who has worked hard in training, done everything he can to learn and improve his game and has shown plenty of patience as he awaited his big chance which came along last night and was taken with some style.

Talking about Oh’s magical winner Brendan said: “It was a great finish. Nice little very combination with Kyogo and Odin (Thiago Holm) can shoot if he’s selfish. But he plays a lovely pass in and the big guy takes his touch and it’s a wonderful finish.

Hyeongyu Oh of Celtic celebrates after he scores his team’s second goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Mirren FC at Celtic Park on November 01, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“I’m really pleased for him. For the guys who aren’t playing so much, you always have to recognise and acknowledge their efforts, which I do with them.

“He looks after his body, his diet, everything is superb. He’s so professional, he looks at his training and he knows when asked upon he can come in and make an impact. And what an impact. It’s always difficult for the guys who are playing behind. But all they can do is maintain a strong mentality.

“That sort of second striker playing behind a top striker…it’s a tough ask but everything about him is very good…apart from taking corners!”

We reckoned Brendan Rodgers made a mistake at the weekend not going to his squad players at Easter Road and the team that played most of the intense game against Atletico Madrid looked leg weary to say the least. It was not going to be a mistake he would repeat last night and the squad players certainly rewarded the manager for his faith in them.

“It’s about the squad,” Brendan said. “When you are playing the number if games that we are in close proximity, and everyone wants to beat a champion, every team will raise their game, you know that you have to rely on your squad.

“Some of our players who’ve been regular have been outstanding this season looked a wee bit leggy. That’s the beauty of being able to call on the guys to come in.

“Odin was fresh and bright. David also scored a super goal. He maybe rushed his penalty, you just have to take your time and finish it. But the team reacted so well to that.”

Matt Corr’s new book Majic, Stan and the King of Japan is out now and Neil Lennon, the Celtic captain that season, has written the foreword for us.

You can get a signed copy of the hardback version direct from Celtic Star Books by clicking on the image below. It’s also available an an e-book via Amazon Kindle and please note that all colour photographs that appear in the beautifully presented printed hardback book are also available in the Kindle version of Majic, Stan and the King of Japan…

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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