Rodgers asks Celtic support to ‘trust the players’ after Astana win

first_img“Apart from that it was a wonderful atmosphere, brilliant support and again they helped push us over the line.”Moussa Dembele scored his first goal for Celtic and his manager was impressed that a young player held his nerve to settle the tie in a decisive manner.“I’m very happy for him,” Rodgers said.”I said to some of the guys beforehand that sometimes it’s about the team that finishes the game, as opposed to the team that starts it, but that there would have to be big contributions from the players that came into the game.“Kolo Toure came into the game and showed his experience and he was outstanding but it’s great when you’re a goalscorer to get the goal.“He’s obviously been playing catch-up on his fitness, Moussa, but he’s got quality and that is why he was coveted by so many teams. “He showed great composure for a guy who’s just turned 20 to score his first goal. I think when he scored you saw that release from him. I think now he can really move on from that. Both penalty takers showed wonderful composure.” SNS GroupLooking back over a 90 minutes that held plenty of drama, Rodgers was more than satisfied with his side overall.“I thought we fully deserved to go through,” he said. “We started the game with a great intensity and our pressing when we lost the ball restricted them to very few chances.“At the end of the first half we got the goal that we deserved.“At 1-0 in front we started the second half well and then we make a mistake, the guy has a great finish and then it’s a test of our character again.”“What I’ve seen over the course of the pre-season is that these players respond to the challenge,” he said.“They were absolutely brilliant and I thought they stayed calm. We shifted the system, they circulated the ball.“We needed a little bit of luck in some moments in the final third and didn’t quite get it. I think they also showed their fitness in the game as well.“We showed wonderful composure, great team spirit and thoroughly deserved to get through.” “Now we’ve got one final step to go and we’ll see what Friday brings us. Certainly it gives the players great belief and hopefully gives the supporters belief.“Hopefully they see today that the players are giving absolutely everything. The only thing I would say to the supporters is that they were unbelievable tonight for us but I think they need to show a bit of patience as well. “I’m a Celtic supporter, I know what they want I know how desperately they want it. But they put the players on edge at times tonight. In modern football, European football, domestic football, teams are organised so if you can’t play forward and you can’t play sideways, you’ve got to come back.“When we come back, you shouldn’t be on edge because you come back because we have to circulate the ball to get to the other side to try and provoke them to be disorganised to hopefully score a goal. So hopefully going forward, instead of having that edginess, trust the players. Trust our game model and how we work. Like we’ve seen tonight, eventually we can get there. Brendan Rodgers praised the Celtic support after his side progressed to the Champions League play-offs but asked them to be more patient after putting the players “on edge”.The Scottish champions won 2-1 on the night, and 3-2 on aggregate, against Astana but left it late with Moussa Dembele’s injury time penalty putting them in Friday’s draw.The Celtic manager was delighted to make it through a tough tie and credited his players’ character and the passion of the support.“The guys who have been up here and have experience of this have told me that the first two rounds are sometimes the most difficult,” Rodgers said. “That was a difficult test and when the draw was made we felt that we would do well to come through here.last_img