Celtic: Brendan Rodgers still 'rankled' by draw with Inverness

Alex Fisher
A last-minute goal from Alex Fisher denied Celtic victory at Inverness in September, the only points the champions have dropped this season

Brendan Rodgers admits it still "rankles" that Celtic dropped two points against Inverness in September to deny his side a 100% league record this season.

A last-minute Alex Fisher goal secured a 2-2 draw for Richie Foran's side at the Caledonian Stadium.

"We should have 10 [wins] out of 10," the Celtic manager said.

"We put in a good performance that day, didn't take our chances and, of course, something like that can happen."

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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers wants 'no slip-ups' against Inverness

Inverness remain the only side to have taken points off Celtic in the Premiership this season, and they travel to Glasgow to face Rodgers' side on Saturday.

The Celtic manager is anticipating another difficult challenge, but says it is "testament to the players and their mentality" that the side has been so consistent domestically.

"Inverness didn't start so well in the season, their football was a little but nervous and they played more direct then, but I saw on the day that they had some good players with good quality," Rodgers said.

"Their last results have shown they're starting to play more football now, passing the ball, they scored some good goals against Hearts last week, but will be disappointed with the goals that they conceded.

"Inverness got the result in the end, but I'm really happy with how the players are improving. For this game, the last one before the international break, we want to ensure there are no slip-ups."

'It's about the team, not the individual'

Rodgers believes that Celtic's performances in the Champions League are a sign of how the team and players are developing under his management.

As well as being satisfied with the display in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach, Rodgers was encouraged that the performance level was not affected by having to make changes to his side.

Kieran Tierney, Kolo Toure, Jozo Simunovic, and Leigh Griffiths were unable to travel to Germany - although the latter two are available for selection for the weekend - but Cristian Gamboa and Emilio Izaguirre were strong replacements, while Mikael Lustig played well having moved from right back to centre-back.

"The nature of how we work is based on the collective, it has to be," Rodgers said. "Of course you want your best players and you need them to be available for as many games as you can, but we can never rely on one individual here.

Emilio Izaguirre
Brendan Rodgers has been impressed with Emilio Izaguirre's performances since he replaced the injured Kieran Tierney

"It has to be about the team, the team's function is based around each player in the position with and without the ball, and everyone working at an intense level.

"That's why we have a squad, with young players developing and senior players who can come in and do a job. It was particularly pleasing when you consider the guys who were missing."

'Every squad member has a role to play'

With Rodgers encouraging a high-intensity style of play, and with the demands of the domestic and European fixture list, the Celtic manager expects the strength in depth of his squad to be a vital factor this season.

"It's critical for us," he said. "We train at that level as well, so the players condition themselves very well. The nature of the squad is important and they all feel they're contributing.

"The players who have been on the front line week in, week out have got a lot of plaudits, but there have been a lot of payers who maybe haven't featured so much who deserve a lot of credit.

"Emilio came into the team and to play the way he has done in the last three games really shows his commitment to training. He was outstanding the other night. The whole squad is really contributing, and it has to be that way."

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