Brendan Rodgers irked by Mark McGhee's 'Celtic-quality behaviour' comments

Mark McGhee interrupts the Celtic warm-up prior to the 4-3 thriller at Fir Park
McGhee interrupts the Celtic warm-up prior to the 4-3 thriller at Fir Park

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers defended his "exemplary" backroom staff after critical remarks from Motherwell boss Mark McGhee at Fir Park.

Explaining that Celtic assistant Chris Davies had refused a handshake, McGhee said there were "no problems" with Rodgers after the visitors' 4-3 win.

He then added: "Some of the other staff are not really Celtic-quality in terms of their behaviour."

Rodgers responded by saying McGhee's comments were "unfair".

The Celtic boss went on to say: "My staff are exemplary in their behaviour. We know what we are representing. We have integrity."

Rodgers was unhappy that the Scotland assistant boss had tried to interfere with his side's pre-match shooting practice.

"He comes up into our warm-up before the game to ask our players to warm up in a different area," he said.

"He shouldn't be doing that. I don't think that is very befitting of an assistant manager of a national team and manager of Motherwell."

Fir Park captain Keith Lasley later told BBC Scotland that Celtic have been the only team not to comply with requests to not use the goalmouth prior to kick-off.

"There is usually a set of goals next to the main goals for shooting drills," he told Off The Ball.

"It might sound like a trivial thing, but the pitch has been pretty poor in recent seasons and now we've got it into a great state. It's just courtesy that you use the other area, so you're not ploughing up the goalmouth.

"Every other club has done it. I think the groundsman politely asked them if they could move and that was declined.

"Mark marched up and got involved for 30 seconds, which didn't go down too well."

Manager Brendan Rodgers congratulates Celtic match-winner Tom Rogic
Rodgers congratulates Celtic match-winner Tom Rogic

On his touchline snub from Davies, McGhee said: "I don't know his name actually - you [the media] have told me his name. He wasn't shaking hands with me. He seemed for some reason to be angry that they won. Explain that to me?"

Rodgers was keen to focus on his side's comeback from 2-0 down in a remarkable game but was drawn further on the spat.

"I said congratulations to the groundsman here before the game because the pitch is very good," he added.

"But why can't we do our warm-up here at Motherwell? The one we have done in every stadium in the world we have been to so far this season.

"So I don't know what the issue was there and maybe that's where it sparked from.

"But that isn't the story of the game. The story is that my team were brilliant in the second half."

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