Brendan Rodgers defends changes


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Brendan Rodgers stands over his decision to make seven changes for Celtic’s trip to Motherwell on Wednesday evening, despite the Hoops dropping two points in a 1-1 draw.

Rodgers rotated heavily from Sunday’s League Cup final triumph over Aberdeen, which came just 72 hours after a vital Europa League win over Rosenborg in Norway. It appeared to be business as usual when Ryan Christie scored early on.

Filip Benkovic had an effort disallowed controversially, while Leigh Griffiths saw a penalty saved as Celtic failed to build on that lead. They were duly forced to count that cost as Danny Johnson levelled right at the death.

Victory would have resulted in Celtic taking over on top of the table from Rangers, who lost at home to Aberdeen, but instead it was Kilmarnock that went clear of the rest after Steve Clarke’s team beat Livingston 2-0 at Rugby Park.

With the likes of Tom Rogic, James Forrest and record-signing Odsonne Edouard benched, Rodgers felt there should have been more than enough quality coming in for Celtic to get the win. His ‘well paid’ fringe players did not get the job done, according to the Hoops boss.

“I can’t rely on 11 players,” Rodgers told BBC Scotland. “We’ve got a good squad who are well paid. Of course you don’t expect to be as fluent, but I would still expect us to be a lot better.

“The other boys have been going to the well for us, both in club and international football, for a period of time so you have to, and you need to, have players that can come in.” Celtic face leaders Kilmarnock at Parkhead on Saturday afternoon.

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