Celtic: Boss Brendan Rodgers has faith in his squad to see off Astana

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Celtic: Rodgers confident with current players ahead of Astana tie

Brendan Rodgers is confident his Celtic squad can reach the Champions League group stage without Patrick Roberts.

Rodgers has been chasing the Manchester City winger following the end of his successful 18-month loan deal in May.

But the Celtic boss is relaxed about his squad ahead of the Champions League play-off meeting with Astana.

"I said right at the beginning that qualification for the Champions League was primarily going to be done with the players that got us there," he said.

"These are players that are developing, that are improving, that have a total understanding of how we work.

"Patrick's situation is pretty clear, he's out with Manchester City at the moment. We have a number of targets we're looking at but there is nothing to report on any specific player."

The Scottish champions entertain Kazakh outfit Astana in Wednesday night's play-off first leg but can still add a new player to their pool if they complete any deal by 23:00 BST on Tuesday night.

Patrick Roberts in action for Celtic
Patrick Roberts is currently with Manchester City at their training camp in Spain

Roberts is currently with City at their Spanish training camp, but there is no sense of panic for the Celtic boss as he prepares his side for a huge European night.

Rodgers revealed after Friday's win at Partick Thistle that he was considering bringing in a new forward.

"For any player the deadline is 11 o'clock tonight but I'm quite relaxed," he added. "We know what we want.

"My main objective over the course of this market was by the end of August to have a squad available that was ready for the season ahead.

"We always hoped that we could get one or two in. We got a few in but we need more, there's no doubt about that.

"Clearly we are missing some players that are decisive for us and we want to make the squad stronger.

"But that only happens when you have two parties that are willing to work together to get the deal done."

Rodgers has been boosted by striker Leigh Griffiths' return to fitness following a calf complaint, and has complete belief in the team that will take on Astana if he is unable to add to his squad.

"We just have to be patient," he said. "I always trust the players I have, and work to make them better.

"That's what we look to do to over these next couple of games - and if we can get anybody else in before, then great, if not then the players know I trust them."

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