Celtic

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has hit back at those who deemed the Hoops’ Champions League campaign a failure.

The Bhoys finished third in their group and qualified for the last 32 of the Europa League, but the low points of the two heavy defeats to PSG and the home loss to Anderlecht seemed to outweigh the high point of the 3-0 win in Belgium in September.

As quoted by STV Sport, the Celtic boss believes that people should appreciate the fact that the Hoops are the only team that played in the hazardous Champions Route which made it through to the Europa.

He said: “These players have qualified through the Champions Route and are the only team to have gone through to qualify for the Europa League.

The manager made the point that the Hoops had fared better than some of the giants of European football.

“Where we are in terms of modern football, you look at the teams that we should be measured against like Ajax, who didn’t even qualify or the likes of Benfica who are running away with the league in Portugal but ended up with no points, and other teams,” he added.

At the end of the day, Rodgers insisted that the criticism didn’t phase him.

“For us there’ll always be criticism, we know that, but it doesn’t really bother us. We just have to continue with our work.

“We have to continue to try to grow and use the criticism as growth. That’s something we’ve done over the course of the last 18 months.”

The Hoops return to domestic action against former boss Neil Lennon’s Hibs side as they attempt to add to their British record of 67 domestic games unbeaten.

Celtic are currently seven points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a game in hand, and will be looking to keep their lead intact during what is an extremely busy December schedule

The Bhoys face both Aberdeen and Rangers at home, as well as a trip to Tynecastle to play Hearts as the teams head towards the January winter break.

In other Celtic news, could James McClean one day play for the Bhoys?

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