Celtic: Brendan Rodgers says bouncing back from defeat is mark of best sides

Celtic striker Moussa Dembele and manager Brendan Rodgers
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was able to select Moussa Dembele for the first time since July

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says it is typical of leading sides to bounce back positively from a European defeat.

Following Tuesday's 5-0 Champions League loss to Paris St-Germain, Rodgers' team beat Ross County 4-0.

"On the back of a tough game in midweek, it's the mark of a really good team that you can press the reset button and go again," Rodgers said.

"You always wonder how a team will react, but this group are so honest and learned lessons from that game."

Rodgers made five changes to his starting line-up for the visit of County, as well as altering the shape of his side to a 3-1-4-2 formation.

Refreshing the team proved worthwhile, as all the goals in the win at Celtic Park were scored by players who had returned to the starting line-up.

Tom Rogic opened the scoring, Moussa Dembele added the second on his return from injury, and James Forrest struck twice after the interval.

Celtic's Tom Rogic, James Forrest, Jonny Hayes and Moussa Dembele
Tom Rogic, left, James Forrest and Moussa Dembele all scored for Celtic against Ross County

"We played another different system, the players managed that and dealt with it very well," Rodgers said.

"In the second half we were better, much better control. Huge credit to the players, off the back of a really tough game against one of the top three sides in the world.

"[Ross County] were set up with a back five, the midfield four narrow and one striker, a real wall of players behind the ball.

"We had to work the possession and find the spaces. As the game went on, we started to move the ball and make it much harder for them. It is difficult, but that's why it's a great league. We get different challenges, we aim to dominate, but we do it in different ways and in different systems. Players are showing incredible flexibility in how they can play."

Rodgers was pleased with the dynamic between Dembele and Leigh Griffiths up front, with the pair having a rare opportunity to perform together.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Celtic reaction delights boss Rodgers

'Ralston's got a great mentality, he wants to improve'

Teenage defender Anthony Ralston also retained his place in the side, although the Celtic manager wants him to become more accomplished with his use of the ball.

"If you look at Moussa's goal, Leigh comes short, makes the pass in, continues his run which occupies the centre-half, and Moussa finishes really well into the corner," Rodgers said.

"It's not every game we can play that [strike partnership], but I felt this was a good opportunity to look at it on the basis of how Ross County would play. They linked very well.

"[Ralston] needs to get better on his serving of the ball. He's defensively very strong and committed, and the supporters love that, but he'll have watched Dani Alves not give the ball way the other night, so he needs to improve that part of his game.

"It comes with experience. He's got a great mentality, he wants to improve and get better. To put in to two performances like he's done this week shows that we're growing a player for now and for the future. He's showing great signs."

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre
Ross County manager Jim McIntyre felt his side was "too passive" at times in the defeat to Celtic

County manager Jim McIntrye was disappointed with aspects of his team's play.

"The reason we went with an extra defender was to try to not get cut open," he said.

"I felt we didn't in the first half, but it meant that we were not as much of an attacking threat as I was looking for.

"We didn't keep the ball enough and we weren't getting out quickly enough. In the first half we were hard to break through but far too passive and that's not how we like to play."

Top Stories