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Brendan Rodgers revisits his Red Imps springboard

Brendan Rodgers has compared his side’s 0-0 draw with St Johnstone to the shock 1-0 defeat to Lincoln Red Imps in his first stint in charge of Celtic.

That defeat in Gibraltar came with various warnings about the state of the squad that the Irishman had inherited from Ronny Deila while there was plenty of noise coming from Mark Warburton and Joey Barton across the city.

Rodgers turned the Red Imps result around in the second leg, delivered a 5-1 Derby Day success that ended Barton’s Ibrox career as Celtic set off on an incredible run that delivered the treble without defeat.

It had been 16 years since Celtic fans witnessed a treble with that achievement now the benchmark for Celtic sides.

Kilmarnock ensued that there won’t be a treble this season but Kyogo Furuhashi’s goal at Ibrox on September 3 has given Celtic the upper hand in the title race just a week after a hugely disappointing 0-0 draw at home to St Johnstone.

There was an angry reaction to that match as a lack of transfer activity following the defeat from Kilmarnock and ahead of the Derby Match caused concern among fans.

Dundee visit Celtic Park on Saturday with Rodgers confidently telling the club website about the turnaround since the draw against St Johnstone:

It’s only a big win against Rangers if we beat Dundee, so our focus now is just getting ready for that.

The supporters will be feeling a lot better about themselves than they did in our last game at home against St Johnstone, but what I would say is that there was a game when I was here the first time that really crystallised everything in terms of the players and the improvement, and I think that was the Gibraltar game when we lost.

For me, the St Johnstone game will be that. I’m pretty sure I’ll look back at the end of the season and that game crystallised some of the items we needed to be better at, within the game, within the structure, within the mentality, and then we were obviously able to then go on and get a very good result.

With Reo Hatate back in the squad bolstered by the win at Ibrox there will be plenty of optimism and expectation ahead of the match against Dundee.

After that the Champions League kicks in with Rodgers facing the challenge of top flight European opposition at the same time as the demands of staying out in front domestically.

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