Football

Video: Brendan Rodgers Lavishes Praise on Callum McGregor Following 3-0 Win in Armenia

Video: Brendan Rodgers Lavishes Praise on Callum McGregor Following 3-0 Win in Armenia

Brendan Rodgers has showered midfielder Callum McGregor with praise after watching his side’s 3-0 win over FC Alashkert in Armenia this evening.

For the first time in recent history, the Hoops are required to start their attempt to reach the group stages from the very first qualifying round, which is why today’s fixture was played before the World Cup has even ended.

And for the first 40 minutes or so, the match had the feel of a pre-season friendly, with both sides looking rusty and unable to carve open any real opportunities.

But that all changed just before the break when Odsonne Edouard pounced to make it 1-0, and just as it looked like Brendan Rodgers’ side were starting to flag a little in the heat, second-half strikes from James Forrest and McGregor look to have put the tie to bed.

All in all, it was a very professional display from the entire Celtic team, but on Scotland international McGregor, Rodgers said via the BBC: “He plays with a lot of authority and personality.

“He’s a real attacking midfield player. We’ve got different types – Scott Brown’s a defensive one, Olivier Ntcham’s a passing midfield player, and Callum, who is an attacking player.

“He can go forward, break lines and score goals. He does it very regularly now and in big games. He’s a very valuable player to our squad.”

On the overall result, Rodgers added: “It was very, very pleasing because of the three first-round ties we’ve played, that was the most difficult.

“They had good pace in the team and are technically good. I’m really proud of the players to play in that heat and take control of the game. It’s important to keep a clean sheet, we concentrated well and scored three very good goals.

“It’s a huge credit to the players, the medical staff, we know we’ve a long way to go to get to full capacity, but to show that hunger and desire to work right to the end, they kept pushing and got their rewards. It was a great credit to how they worked fitness-wise.

“It’s breathless really, it’s very tight air, but I thought they coped with it very well. They’ll really benefit from that game fitness-wise and it sets us up well for the next leg.”

Surely this side won’t cause Celtic any problems in Glasgow, but do you think the Scottish champions will make the Champions League for the third consecutive year?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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