Brendan Rodgers has reiterated the importance of a big performance and ultimately, a result against Atletico Madrid tomorrow night, if Celtic are to have any chance of European football after Christmas. The Irishman has already had to watch his team suffer agonising defeats at the hands of Feyenoord and Lazio in match-days one and two and the Hoops now welcome the Spanish giants to Parkhead on Matchday Three.
It’s been another steep learning curve for a team that has experienced UEFA Champions League group stages football last year in the main, however, the loss of a few key players and the replacement of them by younger, inexperienced heads has come back to haunt the Bhoys so far in their latest European quest. Over in Holland both Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Thiago Holm received red cards and all but put paid to any chance of a result, whilst Lazio sucker punched us at home last time out in Group E.
Indeed, we were sadly beaten by teams who are more experienced at this level than we are right now and that has to be rectified at some point in the future, if we harbour any real ambitions of escaping from the Champions League group stages or even winning a knockout tie post-Christmas. Despite the obvious drawbacks at present, Rodgers will set his team up to win as he always does and is rightly demanded from the Celtic supporters.
The man who has been building up ahead of steam domestically of late is looking to maintain that form and translate it into tangible results in Europe this year. Diego Simeone and his side are formidable, but by no means unbeatable and Rodgers has admitted if we are to have any chance of European progression this term, then we need something from the game tomorrow night that will set us on a course for more points towards the end of the group stage overall.
Have a listen to Brendan Rodgers on the importance of a big performance and result tomorrow night below…
🔊 LISTEN: “If we’re going to progress in any of the competitions, we have to take something from tomorrow”.
🍀 Brendan Rodgers says Celtic’s hopes of European football after Christmas hang on getting a result against Atletico Madrid tomorrow night. pic.twitter.com/xuZYgf4qwC
— Clyde 1 Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) October 24, 2023