Celtic: Brendan Rodgers defends making seven changes for Motherwell draw

Jonny Hayes
Jonny Hayes, left, was one of seven players introduced to the Celtic XI

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has defended his decision to make seven changes to his side after they spilled two points at Motherwell.

The champions were held to a 1-1 draw, with Danny Johnson equalising for the hosts in the final two minutes.

Rodgers rotated heavily from Sunday's League Cup final triumph over Aberdeen, resting the likes of Tom Rogic and James Forrest.

"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."

With Celtic leading 1-0, Leigh Griffiths had a first-half penalty saved by Mark Gillespie and Filip Benkovic had an effort disallowed, which Rodgers described as a "perfectly good goal".

The result meant the Scottish champions missed the chance to go top of the Premiership table, and are now a point behind Kilmarnock, who they face on Saturday.

"We still should've won the game and, even if we'd won 1-0, I wouldn't have been overly happy with how we played," Rodgers said.

"Our positioning wasn't good, we were sloppy in our passing and technically we couldn't move it quick enough."

Motherwell aim for 'consistency'

Motherwell had to overcome the loss of captain Peter Hartley and fellow defender Liam Donnelly to injury in the first half to claim their point.

The Fir Park side have won back-to-back games just once in the league this season, and manager Stephen Robinson wants greater consistency.

"It's credit to the boys, we deserved a point and now we have to try to get that consistency into all of our performances," he said.

"When you play against Celtic you've got to be disciplined and the players did what we tried to do to the letter. I think we deserved it and put pressure on them towards the end."

Top Stories