Celtic V Inverness CT at Celtic Park : Match Preview

04 November 2016
Celtic V Inverness CT - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Dropped points for Celtic still rankle with Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers insists there has been nothing easy about Celtic's near-perfect record in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season.

The league leaders welcome Inverness to Parkhead on Saturday and it still "rankles" with the Hoops boss that two points were dropped against the Highlanders in September when the hosts levelled late in the game through Alex Fisher.

The 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday night leaves the Hoops with only slim chances of qualifying for the last 16, but Celtic are expected to continue their dominance on the domestic front, with a Betfred Cup final against Aberdeen to come later in the month.

However, Rodgers stressed that his side are having to work for their success on the home front.

He said: "There is no easy game. There are many reasons why, firstly, the opponent will always fight.

"A game against Celtic, whatever the levels the players are at, the opponent will always go up because they are playing against one of the big teams, which is natural. All the players up here will always fight for the result.

"Supporters will demand that so there have been no easy games as such. There are some very good coaches up here who work and study and analyse their teams to set up against you.

"Some of the scorelines have been down to some of the great play of our players and how hard they have worked.

"Look at our last four games. The League Cup semi-final (against Rangers), tough game. Away to Ross County, travel, tough game; away to Aberdeen, tough game then away to Monchengladbach.

"You can put in lots of excuses but it really shows you the focus and concentration of the team, how hard they are working and how well they are playing."

The Northern Irishman, however, would have liked an exemplary league record going into Saturday's game.

He said: "It is still a game that rankles with me a little bit. We should have 10 (league wins) out of 10.

"We conceded late on, on the back end of the Barcelona trip.

"We put in a good performance that day, we just didn't take our chances and of course if you don't take the opportunities something like that can happen.

"I saw on the day that Inverness had some good players with good quality and they have started to play more football now, pass the ball a little bit, they scored some good goals last week against Hearts but will be disappointed with the goals they conceded.

"So it's not totally surprising Inverness got the result in the end.

"But I am really happy with the way the players are improving, their hunger going into each game and for this game, the last one before the international break, we want to ensure that we have no slip-ups and have real intensity and attacking intent."

Inverness midfielder Liam Polworth remains positive that his side can get a result at Celtic Park - and will do so even if the champions take the lead.

Celtic have scored 17 goals in four Ladbrokes Premiership games at Parkhead this season but they have yet to defeat Inverness.

Caley Thistle are the only team to take points off the leaders this season and Polworth will take a positive outlook to the east end of Glasgow.

The 22-year-old said: "We're not going into the game thinking negatively. We will go into the game positive and hopefully we can come away with something.

"It's always a difficult challenge especially away to Celtic, with the players, the stadium and the fans they have. But you've just got to try to concentrate on the game and hopefully we will play well on the day and they have an off day."

Caley Thistle twice came from behind to grab a point against Celtic in September and Polworth is adamant they will not crumble at Parkhead.

"We all know once they get ahead it makes the job twice as hard to get back at them but you can't do much else but go after them," he said. "There's no point going out and lying down - you need to have a fight, get on the ball and try and play."

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