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Brendan Rodgers puts responsibility on Celtic team to spark Parkhead atmosphere

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has told his players they need to create their own buzz at Parkhead after a flat afternoon against Motherwell.

With the Green Brigade ultras group still banned, the visiting fans were generally more audible than the home support during Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

Apart from David Turnbull’s goal, the biggest noise from Celtic fans was pre-match when the ultras group welcomed the team bus before heading away from the stadium.

Celtic struggled to break down a dogged Motherwell side, who had a similar amount of efforts at goal as their hosts in the first half.

It was one-way traffic for the vast majority of the second half but Luis Palma saw a penalty saved by Liam Kelly and Yang Hyun-jun missed a sitter before Jonathan Obika headed a last-minute equaliser four minutes after Turnbull converted Celtic’s second spot-kick.

Rodgers acknowledged there was a flat atmosphere but added: “There was probably that in the last game as well but we were winning 6-0, still the same. It is something on the pitch, we have to make it happen.

“We have enough of the ball, got into some really good areas, we just missed that final moment of combination play and that final moment of quality that allows you to get in front and opens the game up.

“The longer it goes 0-0, that gives Motherwell that enthusiasm to keep going.”

Celtic remained eight points clear with one more game played following the weekend’s action after second-placed Rangers drew at Aberdeen on Sunday.

Rodgers’ side now face Lazio in Rome with only a victory able to keep alive their slim hopes of progress in the Champions League.

“It is disappointing we have dropped two points, and we will look to get them back,” he said. “And now we have to recover and get ready with a really strong mindset for Tuesday. It is a fantastic game, highest level.”

With Palma suspended for the Rome trip and Daizen Maeda also unavailable, Rodgers is optimistic he will have James Forrest to bolster his wide options after the winger missed Saturday’s game.

“In the international break he had a problem with his glute so he hadn’t trained a lot,” Rodgers said. “So rather than sit on the bench he has some training days up until Tuesday and should be available for that.”

Motherwell collected only their third point from 10 matches and manager Stuart Kettlewell has challenged his side to use the well-drilled performance and late equaliser as a catalyst for improvement.

The Steelmen next face Dundee, Ross County and St Johnstone in the space of eight days.

“This has to become a benchmark for us, coming to a place like this and getting a result,” Kettlewell said.

“It has to be a milestone where we use it as a springboard and kick on and start to amass more points because it’s been a tough stretch for us.

“We have had good times and obviously had this bad run, but we now need to come out the other side of it and start to compete with teams that are probably in the ball park with ourselves.

“If we show that type of organisation and level of concentration then I think it gives us a chance against most.”


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