Brendan Rodgers Celtic manager confident of Champions League improvement

The Scottish champions will face a stern test against Rosenborg next Wednesday in the first leg of their third round tie.

  • Published:
Team manager Brendan Rodgers says Celtic now are in a much better place to make an impression in the Champions League than last year play

Team manager Brendan Rodgers says Celtic now are in a much better place to make an impression in the Champions League than last year

(AFP/File)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Brendan Rodgers says Celtic are in a much better place to make an impression in the Champions League than last year after watching his side ease past Linfield into the third qualifying round of the competition.

The Hoops cruised to a 4-0 victory over the Northern Ireland champions at Celtic Park thanks to goals from Australian international Tom Rogic, Stuart Armstrong and a double from Scott Sinclair to seal a 6-0 aggregate win.

The Scottish champions will face a stern test against Rosenborg next Wednesday in the first leg of their third round tie.

But Rodgers, who led his side to a treble in an undefeated first season in charge, is confident his side can overcome the Norwegians as they attempt to emulate last season's achievement of qualifying for the lucrative group stages of the competition.

"We have watched some of their games already," the Celtic manager said of Rosenborg, who needed extra-time to see off Irish side Dundalk.

"They're obviously midway through their season so they will be at a good level in terms of their fitness."

"Norwegian teams are very disciplined and very organised but we will look forward to it."

"We know whoever we have to face over the course of this qualification campaign is not going to be easy."

"If we want to get to where we want to get to then we have to go into these games and work hard. I look at tonight and look at the other game and I sit with a different confidence in the team."

"I am pretty happy going into these games."

"Tactically we are very good. Physically we are still building up, but if you look at the whole shape of the team and how they are working, how they are playing and how they are running then we are 100 per cent in a different place from this time last season."

Rodgers says his side will look to take the initiative in the first leg at Celtic Park as they aim to take a lead to Norway.

"A lot of teams come here and sit behind the ball," the Northern Irishman said.

"About 95 per cent of the last two games was played in the final third."

"Rosenborg will come and not want to concede many and take the game into the second leg and ensure they still have a chance."

"For us we play how we play. We will go and attack the game and see if we can build a lead for the second leg."

Celtic could find themselves in trouble with UEFA after supporters group the Green Brigade unveiled controversial paramilitary style banners during the game that seemed to reference the troubles in Northern Ireland.

The first leg in Belfast was marred by unpleasant scenes with the Linfield fans, who are drawn from Northern Ireland's Protestant community, giving a hostile reception to Celtic, who are historically seen as a Catholic side and the banners seemed to antagonise the 1500 travelling support.

The incident was missed by Rodgers, who grew up in Northern Ireland during the height of the Troubles.

"I didn't see that," Rodgers said. "Fortunately I am one of those guys who just concentrates on the football and on the game."

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.