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Rodgers: Shoulder issue won’t KO Kyogo


BRENDAN RODGERS is adamant that Kyogo Furuhashi’s recurring shoulder issue won’t prevent him from starting Celtic’s Champions League opener away to Feyenoord on Tuesday.

The Japanese forward darted up the tunnel early on in his side’s victory over Dundee for urgent treatment, but returned to play his part in the 3-0 win which ensured his team remained two points clear at the top of the Premiership.

Explaining the circumstances which caused the talisman to briefly leave the scene, Rodgers said: ‘It was just his shoulder, he had to get some work off the pitch and quickly the medical team sorted it out. He came back in and was fine.’

After confirming that the forward’s dislocation had been put back in, Rodgers insisted that he would be available to face the Dutch champions. Asked if there was any doubt about Furuhashi’s availability, he simply replied: ‘No.’

After a frustrating first

half, Rodgers’ side went in front when David Turnbull won and converted a penalty. With the game opening up, Furuhashi doubled his side’s lead when he converted Callum McGregor’s chip over the top then teed up Matt O’Riley for the third.

Effusive in his praise for the contributions of Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda, Rodgers added: ‘Both of those players have been excellent since I’ve come back. Kyogo creates a goal and scores a goal from a brilliant pass by Callum and it was a wonderful header.

‘I was happy with the third goal as we defended it with aggression and you could see that when we won the ball back, we doubled up to win it and then Ally (Johnston) makes a great pass into Kyogo, who finds Matt really well.

‘Matt looks like he’s going to score in every single game. We are working on his timing and getting into the right areas and he has a lovely composure when he finishes.’

Nat Philips made his debut following his loan move from Liverpool, with Luis Palma and Paulo Bernardo also getting their first run-outs from the bench.

‘It was nice for them to get a feel of playing here and the crowd gave them a great reception, so that will give them a boost as a Celtic player,’ said Rodgers.

Explaining why Phillips was replaced by Gustaf Lagerbielke at half-time, Rodgers said: ‘He rolled his ankle. He was going to play 60 minutes but it was just precautionary. He should be fine.’

Reo Hatate made his return as a substitute after a month out injured and injected quality when Rodgers’ team needed it most.

‘It’s brilliant as he’s like a new player,’ said the manager. ‘He’s the type of player we don’t have in terms of that dynamism in his game. When he’s really focused and on it, he’s really very good.’

Skipper McGregor praised the bravery of Furuhashi playing on after his shoulder was dislocated.

‘I don’t think it is (pleasant),’ he said. ‘I think he’s had a bit of an ongoing problem with it. So it just shows the character that he wants to play games, he wants to be in the team, he wants to help the team as much as he can.

‘When I saw him going off, you could see he was holding his shoulder. You just hoped he was alright and we could get him back on the pitch.

‘Again, tremendous character to play through it. He’s certainly one who puts himself on the pitch all the time.’

Dundee boss Tony Docherty was heartened by his side’s display in defeat, saying: ‘I was pleased with a lot today. All the goals are preventable, there are things we can do about it, but I need to take the positives.’





dmg media (UK)