Video: Brendan Rodgers’ post-match interview with Celtic TV

Brendan Rodgers watched his side succumb to the searing temperature in Japan yesterday against Yokohama F. Marinos and spoke to Celtic TV after the game to give his thought on how it went. Losing 6-4 in the end, nobody could accuse either side of not wanting to put on a show and entertain the thousands in attendance and millions watching at home.

The manager understood that the conditions were difficult and that it was a highly competitive fixture at this stage of the pre-season schedule, but that at this current moment in time it’s all about getting those legs working and ensuring everybody gets an adequate run-out as we tick closer to the start of the season kicking off.

He was particularly pleased with hat-trick hero, Daizen Maeda, who showed what he can do when played centrally in the system.

After the match, the Irishman said: “It was a tough schedule for us in terms of arriving here so quickly. This is a good team and they are pretty much three-quarters of the way through their season.

“It was perfect for what we needed with the fitness levels we need to be at, and there’s still a lot of work to do on that front. We played two behind closed doors and each game is a step-up in performance levels. We can’t lose track of the priority at this stage. You can never go on results and we need to build that fitness and you can see Yokohama were that bit sharper.

“We will get to that point but we have to focus on our physicality and that will improve over the coming weeks. The main priority was our fitness and we will have benefited tonight. You can see whenever it works well, some of the patterns in penetrating the space in behind to attract opponents out and then counter them with the ball, they did that very well.”

On his man of the moment, Maeda, he said: “I thought Daizen was outstanding in the game in his running, his touch and his finishing. He was absolutely outstanding, so I’m really pleased for him. He was amazing in all aspects. I was impressed from afar but he was very good.

“Also, from Tomoki as well I thought he was excellent. Playing in right-back, a position he hasn’t played too much, I thought he played really well. Overall for the two boys, I was pleased for them to come back to their home country and get a lovely reception from the supporters.”

Celtic now head for Oaska and Rodgers reckons that he will rotate the side considerably more after a very intense training regime and match in Yokohama. “We wanted to really push a number of players tonight,” he said. “So by the time they were coming off at 65 minutes you could see the tiredness in the legs.

“We needed to get them through that and come the weekend we will go back to two 45 minutes because of the heat and everything else. That will allow us to get back to a good place physically after this trip in the following weeks. There’s a lot of work for us to do, enjoyable work, but we look forward to the next challenge.”

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

1 Comment

  1. Jim O'Rourke on

    I just can’t get used to him being the manager again and for the first time In my life i can’t get the same enthusiasm for the up coming season and i attended my first game over 50 years ago.