Rodgers insists there are no discipline issues at Celtic

Date published: Tuesday 18th July 2017 3:58

Brendan Rodgers insists discipline is not an issue at Celtic despite two UEFA charges arising from their Champions League qualifying clash with Linfield.

The European governing body opened a case against striker Leigh Griffiths for tying a Hoops scarf to a goal post after the 2-0 win at Windsor Park on Friday.

UEFA has also instigated disciplinary action against Celtic after picking up five yellow cards, one of which was controversially given to Griffiths for presumably taking too long at a corner when he was being pelted with missiles – including a glass bottle.

Ahead of the second leg of the second qualifying-round clash at Celtic Park on Wednesday, where the Scotland striker could be struggling with a calf injury, boss Rodgers said: “The hearing is on Thursday so we will see what comes back from that.

“If you look over the course of my time my players are very disciplined in terms of how they play the game, tactically and composure in the game.

“Sometimes you get that in European games. There were one or two that weren’t bookings as such but I don’t think you need to worry about the discipline of Celtic.

“We try to win any game of football in the most sporting way and best way we can, on the scoreboard and the way we play. The discipline is not an issue.”

Rodgers reiterated his surprise at Spanish referee Alejandro Hernandez’s decision to book Griffiths and claimed it may have led to him making the scarf gesture.

The Northern Irishman said: “The booking seemed strange at the time, everyone in the stadium will recognise that.

“It is an incident I don’t want to go overboard on. It is not something that we want to see at Windsor Park or any football ground.

“I was surprised like most people when he did get the booking, so it (Griffiths tying the scarf) could have been a bit of exuberance towards the end.

“But we are a team that are very disciplined and we will remain that way.”

Asked if he could see why UEFA have deemed Griffiths’ action to be inflammatory, Rodgers said: “They have judged it as that.

“It is irrelevant what I think of it, he has been judged by UEFA so we take what comes from that. The surprise of course was his booking at the corner.

“If you put yourself up to do what Leigh has done afterwards then there is possibilities of what sanctions can be brought against you.

“But we accept where it’s at. We will look at it and see what the hearing says.”

Rodgers is confident that the return game at Celtic Park, where there will be around 1,500 Linfield fans, will pass off without incident.

“It is not a game that I am overly worried about in terms of behaviour,” he said.

“The Celtic supporters in my time here have been absolutely amazing, home and away, travelled the world, support their team passionately and create a great atmosphere.

“The ones that travelled to Windsor Park behaved themselves and there was no drama.

“I try to think that supporters come to support their team and give their team the best support they possibly can.

“So if there is any message it is come, enjoy the game and behave yourself. It is as simple as that.”

Rodgers revealed that left-back Emilio Izaguirre could be on his way out of Celtic Park.

He said: “Nothing to report on but there is maybe an opportunity for him to go elsewhere outside of Europe.

“It is something we will speak about to him and his agent and take it from there.”

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