Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers questions St Johnstone players' desire

Celtic's Odsonne Edouard has a shot on goal
St Johnstone are unbeaten away from home against the Old Firm in the Premiership this season

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has questioned the desire of St Johnstone's players in their lower-profile games after they drew at Celtic Park for the second time this season.

Saints also drew 1-1 with the Scottish Premiership leaders in August and beat Rangers at Ibrox in December.

But Tommy Wright's side had won only one of their previous eight games - over Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup.

"I think there are questions there for Tommy's players," said Rodgers.

St Johnstone are struggling in ninth place in the Premiership, and are eight points off a spot in the top six, where they have finished for each of the last six seasons.

Rodgers suggested Wright's men are cheating their manager by not showing the same desire against other sides as they do against the Old Firm.

He said: "Tommy's a fantastic manager, I am sure he walks away happy with a point but probably really frustrated.

"How can you win a game 3-1 at Ibrox on 16 December, not win a game right the way through [since], apart from the Albion game, then your next big result is away at Celtic?

"So I think the question goes with the St Johnstone players.

"Today you've seen them organised, committed, fighting, running - doing all of that.

"If they do that in every game they would probably win a lot more games."

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Highlights: Celtic 0-0 St Johnstone

Rodgers made seven changes from the 1-0 Europa League win over Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday, with Tom Rogic, Cristian Gamboa, Jack Hendry, Calvin Miller, Charly Musonda, Odsonne Edouard and Scott Sinclair all starting.

"You have to be careful, we have so many games," added the manager, whose side travel to Russia for the second leg on Thursday, before a meeting with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday.

"Scott Brown was suspended, Mikael Lustig had a niggle on his Achilles and we couldn't risk that, and Olivier Ntcham was ill so he couldn't play.

"Olivier should be fine, Browny will be available and Mikael should be fine, it was precautionary. They will be fine for Thursday.

"There were lots of positives for us in terms of players. It was Tom Rogic's first game in two months, we have to take opportunities at some point to play some of these guys, like Cristian Gamboa and Calvin Miller.

"Even if we had a full-strength side it would have still been difficult."

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