Everything Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said to the media in his pre-match press conference, ahead of his team's away trip to Livingston...

Brendan, have you had time to look back and reflect on Tuesday night and the lessons to be learned from there?

Yeah, listen, in every game there’s always that. What you always have to try and do - no matter what game you play in, especially when you lose - is to have that balance and common sense approach. When I look back on the game like I felt in the game, the players were applying maximum effort at the level, and we were well in the game and unfortunate to be behind at half-time. Of course, when you go down to nine men it becomes really, really difficult in any game, but in particular at the highest level. What I will say is that the players kept going and showed a great spirit right to the very end. Actually, the 2-0 scoreline might be invaluable for us later down the line, because we play Feyenoord in the last game, and if it comes down to goal difference, then that could prove very, very important for us. I thought that the players - yeah we didn’t get the result - but we always have to logically look at it and be in balance when you do anything. When we went down to nine men, that hurt us.

You seem like you’re taking the positives out of the game, and that’s what the players said when we spoke to them after the match. Is it still positive in there, everyone trying to get the team back to winning ways?

Yeah, after the game I think - at a huge club like Celtic - you can’t dwell on a win or a loss, whatever the result is, our focus is only directed in one way, and that’s looking at the play and working with that intensity in an efficient manner in our game. That was all our focus before the game, and that’s our focus afterwards. We have to reflect on what we can be better at and where we can improve, but we play so many games that we can’t dwell. You’ve got to move on to the next one, and that’s our focus now.

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I was speaking to Alistair Johnston after the game and he was saying that the team have been picking up points domestically and at the top of the league, but still waiting for that performance where you click into gear where you take your chances and score five or six. He feels like that is coming, do you feel like that performance is coming as well?

Yeah, it just takes time. A lot of young players coming into the squad and the team. As I said before, it’s a different team even from when I agreed to come in when looking at the players that have moved on and players we’ve brought into the club. It takes a little bit of time. Obviously when you’re missing key players, and key players can influence the level at which he can play the game, but thankfully the likes of Reo Hatate had another 55-60 minutes the other night, so that’s really good for him because in terms of match practice been not playing so much. Obviously, once he gets up to speed he’ll show he’s a fantastic player. A few others coming back a little bit later, but I would anticipate us getting better as the season goes on.

Just finally from me on those key players, are there any injury updates on the return of some of them? Nat Phillips, Cameron Carter-Vickers, how are those two getting on?

Well, I think if you look at your notes from last week, I will say that Cameron Carter-Vickers is back on the 9th of October or around that time, so you don’t need to keep asking every week! Nat Phillips, we will see, Nat had a heavy roll in his ankle last weekend. We’ll give him another 24 hours - he’s been out on the pitch today - so we’ll just assess that from there.

Brendan, you mentioned about the goal difference there, do you think the group might become that tight and it can come down to that?

Well, it could do. That’s why I was so pleased with the reaction of the players when they went down to nine men because I’ve seen it before against 10 men when teams fold. The one thing we never let go of was our spirit in the game, and that conviction to get the result - the result maybe wasn’t the win we wanted - but the 2-0 could actually prove very important later down the line, so it could be that tight. That result with the circumstances we are in could end up working out for us.

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Depending on whether or not you’ve got Nat available this weekend - given that you’re going to miss Gustaf Lagerbielke for the game against Lazio - you’re going to have to think about getting someone else into the team to get them up to match speed in the event that they may need to be used?

We’ll assess that, but we’ll see. It’s just about having him fit and available, and then we’ll assess it from there

Does the pitch at Livingston make you think twice about selecting any players who are just coming back?

It always does. I think if you have players with knee injuries or situations like that then sometimes the surface doesn’t help, but it’s no excuse for us. We know that we have to play on artificial pitches at some points throughout the season, so we go there and anticipate a tough game and we look to get the result.

The club this week came out and outlined their very strong financial results. I just wonder what that means for you going forward, in terms of further investment in the team?

Well hopefully. I think what it demonstrates is how well the club is run behind the football side. All the markers and numbers are there to prove that. My job is to look after the football side and make us the best that we possibly can.

And when you reflect back on the business that you’ve done in the window just gone, are you content with what you’ve brought in? 

No. I think if you ask any manager, they’ll always be wanting more, of course. We work with the players that are here, and I’m not saying that in any disrespectful way, but every manager will tell you that they wish they could have done one or two more signings. The window closed, we had the players that we had in, and I’m a coach and manager and we will work with the very best players at our disposal to make our performance level the best that we can possibly be. Now we’re already preparing for the January window and the summer window.

Was that maybe a disappointment for you? 


When you look at the signings you did make, there’s a lot - nine players in total - is there an argument to sign more experienced players in January or the summer? 

If you look at the club's strategy, it’s that (younger players). It’s signing the younger players to develop and improve. I’ve said it before here that to maximise that potential then you need that balance in your squad. You need quality and experience. That will obviously help and support the potential that you have. That’s something hopefully over the course of my time here that the squad can regenerate that way.

Just looking ahead to the game, Livingston have started pretty well. What have you made of them and facing David Martindale, whose teams are very well organised?

Yeah, I like David. I came across him the last time I was here, and his team’s are always competitive and make it very difficult for you, so you know you have to earn the right to get the three points. It won’t be different this weekend. We’re anticipating a tough game - it’s a surface that’s always a challenge - but we have to cast that aside and look to get focused in on getting the quality of our game right and getting the points.

How different is the preparation from playing Feyenoord in the Champions League to a completely different scenario on an artificial surface?

It’s very simple, the preparations are simple. We just stay focused on our job at hand and look to be as efficient as we can possibly be.

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One of the huge pluses for me has been the emergence of Liam Scales. I thought he was outstanding at Ibrox and in midweek. He was giving it absolutely everything. Given you’re now moving into that period where there are two games a week, two vital home Champions League games also coming up and also the attention of the league. Are there any other youngsters knocking on that door to perhaps get a first-team opportunity over the next six to eight weeks?

That’s something I look at. Firstly on Liam, I think he’s been excellent. I think now he feels really happy that he’s created some sort of identity here. When he was in before he was a bit of a bit-part player, then he had his time out on loan. He comes back in the summer and thinks his future is maybe away from here, but he trained really well over the course of pre-season, and it was really just about timing and taking his opportunity. The Ibrox game was a massive game for him. It’s the biggest challenge for any Celtic player to go, especially with no supporters. He stood up strong to that and was excellent. Away at Feyenoord, he was very, very good and very composed. For someone who’s not been near to that level - with the greatest of respect - I thought he played with a real composure and was really competitive. He just has to keep focused and stay calm and keep working hard and take those performances and make them as consistent as he can be.

Any more injuries, or is everyone fine from Tuesday?

Yeah, no injuries, everyone’s fine from Tuesday.