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Brendan Rodgers: Four reasons why Celtic will struggle in Champions League qualifier

By Alex Taylor

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has warned his team of the challenges they will face as his side prepare to fly to Kazakhstan to face Astana in the next round of Champions League qualifying.

Rodgers joined the Hoops this summer and after a tricky first-leg encounter with Lincoln Red Imps, the Bhoys got through the first round of qualifying, running out 3-1 winners on aggregate.

The former Liverpool boss arrived at Celtic having spent several months out of work after being sacked by the Reds last October, and is aiming to take the Glasgow giants back to the Champions League proper for the first time in two years.

“Apart from the six hour flight, and the five hour time difference and the 35 degree heat and the plastic pitch with no water, it should be alright,” Rodgers joked to the BBC.

“It’s just what’s been thrown at us, we’ve got ways that we can adjust. We’ll look to fly out on the Monday with the game on the Wednesday and prepare ourselves the best we possibly can.”

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“Again we’ve got trying conditions but we’ll have to find a way to get a performance and a result.”

The Northern Irishman took over from Ronny Deila who left the club this summer.

Deila spent two years at the club and delivered a fifth consecutive Scottish Premiership title last season, but was heavily criticised for his European failures and poor choice of players.

In other Celtic news, Brendan Rodgers has revealed he is confident that the Hoops can secure a new centre-back within the next 24 hours in a bid to beat a Uefa deadline.