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Dublin: 7°C Monday 19 April 2021

Rodgers insists it's no embarrassment for Celtic to lose to part-time side

Lincoln Red Imps upset the Scottish giants in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier, but the manager was not downbeat following the defeat in Gibraltar.

Rodgers remains upbeat.
Rodgers remains upbeat.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

CELTIC MANAGER BRENDAN Rodgers is not embarrassed by suffering a 1-0 defeat to Lincoln Red Imps in his first competitive game in charge of the club.

The start of Rodgers’ reign was marked by immediate disappointment with Celtic beaten in the first leg of their Champions League second qualifying round tie by the part-time side from Gibraltar.

Leigh Griffiths rattled the crossbar twice after Lee Casciaro put Lincoln ahead early in the second half, but the Scottish champions were unable to find an equaliser on Tuesday.

Rodgers lamented Celtic’s lacklustre finishing but insisted there was no humiliation in the defeat, looking to the second leg in Glasgow next week as a chance to put it right.

“We’ve given ourselves a bit of work to do. I saw enough from the game, we created enough to go through,” he said.

“It was a disappointing result, but there are many factors for it – we didn’t finish like we wanted to do and they took their only chance.

“Of course, you never want to lose the game. We have to accept it as a group, continue to work and put it right in the next game. There’s no embarrassment.

“We wanted an easier job after the first leg and this makes it a bit more complicated, but we will be fine for the second game.”

Casciaro, the scorer of Gibraltar’s first full international goal against Scotland in 2015, was delighted to have played a winning role but anticipates a very different second leg.

“I’m over the moon. We knew we’d get chances and I’m lucky to have scored,” he said.

“This is my biggest achievement here in Gibraltar, winning against a European champion like Celtic.

“Celtic Park will be a different game, with the weather, the grass pitch, but we’ve got to go and get the result.”

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