Celtic: Brendan Rodgers has no concerns over discipline after Uefa charges

Brendan Rodgers and Leigh Griffiths at Windsor Park

Manager Brendan Rodgers has no concerns about indiscipline after his Celtic team was cited by Uefa for "improper conduct" in receiving five bookings against Linfield last week.

Uefa also charged Leigh Griffiths with "provoking spectators" but Rodgers will await the decision of the Uefa hearing on Thursday before commenting.

"One or two weren't bookings, but I don't think you need to worry about the discipline of Celtic," Rodgers said.

"It's not an issue, the discipline."

And the Celtic manager added: "We always try to win any game of football in the most sporting and best way that we can."

Striker Griffiths was charged after he tied a scarf to the goal following Friday's 2-0 win at Windsor Park in the second round of Champions League qualifying.

Play had been held up during the match when a bottle was thrown at Griffiths while he was taking a corner. The striker was shown a yellow card by referee Alejandro Hernandez as he picked up the bottle.

Leigh Griffiths tied a Celtic scarf to the goal posts at full time in Belfast
Griffiths tied a Celtic scarf to the goal posts at full time in Belfast

Rodgers remains surprised at that decision, but did not wish to dwell on the incident after the final whistle.

"The hearing is on Thursday so we'll see what comes back from that," Rodgers said.

"The booking seemed really strange at the time, everyone in the stadium would have recognised that.

"It's a situation I don't really want to go overboard on, it happened, it's not something we want to see at Windsor Park or any football ground.

"I was surprised like most people when he got the booking for it. It could have been a little exuberance towards the end, but we're a team that's very disciplined in how we work and that's what we'll remain being.

"If you put yourself up to the things that Leigh did after the game, there's the possibility of what sanctions can be brought the against you. We accept where it's at and we'll wait to see what the hearing says."

Griffiths is a doubt for Wednesday's second leg at Celtic Park due to a calf injury, although Rodgers insisted "it's not serious".

The manager expects another game in which the onus will be on his side to break down opponents who will sit deep and compact, and he wants his players to be "more clinical".

Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers has no fears over fan behaviour ahead of the return leg on Wednesday

When asked if he hopes that the aftermath of the second leg is not spent discussing off-field incidents, Rodgers said that his only focus will be on the game itself.

"We really enjoyed the trip to Northern Ireland, it's a great country and Belfast's a great sporting city," he said.

"I've been very fortunate to have been in the Bernabeu as a manager, the Nou Camp, Anfield, Old Trafford, and managing at Windsor Park was always something that I wanted to do.

"What's important for me is that Northern Ireland moves on, the stuff you see is the dark ages really. We need to move on as a country. [But] all the players and coaches involved in the game will only ever be talking about the football.

"It's not a game I'm overly worried about in terms of behaviour. In my time up here the Celtic supporters have been amazing, travelled the world, support the team passionately and create a great atmosphere.

"The ones who travelled to Windsor Park last week behaved themselves and there was no drama. If there's any message [to fans], it's enjoy the game and behave yourself."

Linfield were also charged by Uefa for the "throwing of objects" and for a "field invasion".

Celtic received an award for the players' discipline in domestic competitions last season, after topping the Scottish Football Association's Premiership Fair Play table.

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