BRENDAN RODGERS watched Celtic collapse to a 2-0 loss to battling Hibs at Easter Road this afternoon – and accepted the blame for the loss of three points.
The Hoops boss was forced to make wholesale changes with so many players, including the inspirational trio of Dedryck Boyata, Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie, out through injury.
Emilio Izaguirre, Lewis Morgan, Jonny Hayes and Mikey Johnston were all involved at some stage, but it couldn’t prevent the champions from toppling to their third Premiership defeat of the campaign.
Neil Lennon’s Edinburgh outfit, with only one win win in eight games before this encounter, went ahead inside a minute through Vykintas Slivka and Florian Kamberi made certain when he thrashed in the second in the 59th minute.
A grim-faced Rodgers said: “It was a disappointing for us, of course. We didn’t play well and that’s my fault.
“We had players who were missing, so we changed the system and our way of working. We did okay at times, but we switched off in two moments and they scored on both occasions.
“We had some good moments with some good passages of play, but we just did not do enough today.
IT TAKES TWO TO TANGLE…Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon before the action got underway. Pic: Geo.
“We had people pressing in wrong areas and coming out of position when they shouldn’t and that opens up the game. And then you don’t track a runner.
“It wasn’t a great start for us, but we’ll go away and analyse it. These players have been brilliant for me and this was always going to be a tough game to play on the back-end of a European tie on Thursday.
“But I would still expect us to do better.”
A clearly frustrated Rodgers added: “I certainly know what my best team is at this stage of the season, but, of course, that can’t always be the team that plays.
“Players want to come in to show their qualities, but we didn’t have that today.
“So, congratulations to Hibs, but, like I say, we’ll go away and analyse where we can be better and we will need to be better on Wednesday.”
Celtic are due to play Motherwell, who held them a 1-1 draw earlier this month, at Parkhead in midweek.