Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has defended goalkeeper Joe Hart after he made a mistake for the opening goal in his side's 6-4 friendly defeat to Yokohama F. Marinos.

The back-and-forth fixture saw Daizen Maeda score a hat-trick against his old team but the Hoops were unable to stem the tide of the J1 League champions.

And while Rodgers was keen to praise Maeda after the match, he also came out in defence of his number one.

He said: "It's a period of the season where we're only a few weeks in and assessing where we're at. We could have been better for the first goal before it got to Joe Hart..."

"These players, their attitude and energy in everything that they do, on and off the pitch, is great.

"The humility that they have and how they work and present themselves is first class. They're also very talented footballers.

"I think it was a really good exercise for us. It was always going to be a challenge, firstly from a physical perspective.

"We arrived here in Japan on Monday and were into a game in hot conditions, against a team that are more than halfway into the season.

"There were some really good bits in the game. Some of our goals were excellent. I thought Maeda was exceptional in his performance.

"It was everything you'd want in a striker; running, movement and pressing."

Celtic face Gamboa Osaka on Saturday July 21 in the second match of their Japanese tour before taking on Wolves in Dublin a week later.

Their final pre-season match will come against La Liga side Athletic Club on Tuesday August 1 before the 2023/24 Scottish Premiership campaign gets underway against Ross County at Parkhead on Saturday August 5.

READ MORE: Celtic v Yokohama F. Marinos analysis as Maeda shines in defeat

Meanwhile, Celtic have announced the appointment of Brian Rose as a new non-executive director with immediate effect.  

A lifelong Celtic supporter, Rose is currently a director of Apple Services in London.

Rose has worked in the entertainment and content industry for over two decades, including roles at market leading music and film companies. During this period Rose was managing director of commercial from 2003 to 2016 for Universal Music, the world’s most successful music company.

Throughout this time, Rose has been at the forefront of the development of new digital content strategies leading to improved customer experiences and growth for rights holders and creators.