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Monday 17 December 2018

Rodgers pleased with Celtic's recovery

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers

Boss Brendan Rodgers believes Celtic answered a big question posed by Partick Thistle in their 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership win at The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill on Tuesday night.

The league leaders were stunned when they fell behind to a first-half penalty by striker Conor Sammon, on loan from Hearts, which was conceded by Hoops defender Mikael Lustig for a foul on Miles Storey.

Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths, fit again after an ankle knock, replaced the Swede for the start of the second-half and made all the difference.

Winger Scott Sinclair won and converted a penalty 10 minutes after the break before Griffiths scored the winner from close range in the 70th minute to take Rodgers' side 11 points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the table.

The Northern Irishman said: "It was a very good win for us, I thought we played well overall in the game. We made a couple of mistakes in the first half in our build-up play, I thought we were deserving of a goal but it didn't come.

"And then we made a mistake for the penalty, it was a clear penalty.

"Then your team is asked a question, so I thank the players as I had to put risk into the game by changing the system, taking off a defender and going more attacking.

"I thought the players really took to that and were absolutely fantastic, scored two goals and could have had more. It was a very pleasing win for us."

Rodgers was pleased with the impact Griffiths made off the bench.

"I thought he came on and did great for us," said the former Swansea and Liverpool manager.

"He had an ankle issue at the weekend, he trained a couple of days but wasn't fully match fit.

"You know he gives a threat for a goal and that's what you want from your subs, to come on and make an impact."

Partick Thistle boss Alan Archibald was disappointed by the outcome but pleased with the performance of debutant defender Baily Cargill, 22, signed from Bournemouth until the end of the season.

He said: "He was great. We worked for half an hour indoors at Toryglen (Regional Football Centre) on half a pitch with a curtain up.

"Considering that was the first time he met the guys, he hardly knew their names so I was delighted with him".

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