Top Line Summary

  • Players showed heart and soul to win the match
  • Great night for Adam Idah who also came through a psychological test
  • Update on Alistair Johnston
  • Both penalty awards were fair and just

Everything that Brendan Rodgers said to the media after Celtic's 2-1 Scottish Premiership success against Hibs at Easter Road.

What was your take on that match?

It’s good to get a win at Easter Road, that was nice. I’ve been travelling around Scotland now for a wee while, so it was really good. I said to the players before the game, listen whatever’s happened before there are 14 games left of the season. I said that tonight you’re not going to win the title, but you also won’t lose it….and you can make a big psychological impact by coming away to a tough ground and winning. We got off to a great start and had a lot of the ball. We were not as creative as I would have liked with that finesse and technical ability in the final third to make the chances easier. However, we got through. In the second half, we were not so good if I’m being honest. They pressed on to us very well, so Nick (Montgomery) will be happy with that. We just lacked that bit of composure to play through that pressure which you need to do when a team presses you higher up the pitch. What I never doubt about these players, and I said to them before the game, to get through and win games we need to play with our heart and our soul. The players showed immense heart to keep going right through to the very end and get the victory. So, I am pleased for the team. We will play better – we have to play better, it’s not the level I want to see. We’ll go away and analyse it and look to be better in our next game.

It was not a perfect performance, but with the way won the game, can that give everyone, yourself, the players, and the fans a real lift?

Yes, it does, because at one point it looked like it was going to be another one of those games, like the weekend…where we should win the game and then you get pegged back and then they’ve got a bit of pressure at home. But you have to accept that, you never get it all your own way. We tried everything in the game to make us offensive and aggressive to try and win the game. Thankfully Kyogo comes in and makes the difference while Adam slots his two penalties away fantastically well.

Do you have a penalty taker now?

We’ll see. He’s taken six penalties before coming in so I knew what he could do. He scored a great penalty against Holland for the Republic of Ireland. You just see how he addresses it and how he is. He knows he’s a penalty taker. He was against David Marshall, who’s had a fantastic career in the game and is a top goalkeeper, there’s a psychological test there as well and he came through that. I’m really, really pleased for him. It’s a great night for him on his first start to score two goals and winning goals. I’m pleased for him.

Did Idah show bottle in those moments?

Time will tell. For me, it’s always about time. Players will always come in here with talent. We’ve seen it over many, many years. To survive at Celtic you’ve got to have mental toughness, you’ve got to be strong. I’ll assess that over time. To step up, especially so late in the game, to take that penalty and be so assured, it’s a great moment for him in front of our supporters.

Any update on Alistair Johnston?

He’s gone to the hospital. Some of the guys were just saying he’s texted or said on social media that he’s okay so he must be alright. It looked a sore one with the clash of heads.

Have you seen both penalty incidents? Do you agree with both awards?

I think the first one, I assume the officials think it’s a little bit reckless. The second one, I’ve seen incidents like this before, and when the shot goes away and then the follow-through comes, if it’s anywhere else on the pitch, it’s a free-kick. Nick will probably be the other way thinking the shot has gone but it’s the follow-through that catches him in the box. They’ll be disappointed because they had a go in the second half. For me, it is a penalty. Thankfully we got it.