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You can’t get away from it- Rodgers makes fresh transfer plea

Brendan Rodgers has sent a fresh reminder to the Celtic board that he requires quality additions to his squad in January.

Last night’s win over Feyenoord delivered a 2.8m euros boost to the club’s already healthy bank balance but on the pitch the hoops came up short.

Managers, usually after disappointment often talk about fine margins but generally over six matches most clubs will come out of a Champions League group where they deserve.

Rodgers can hang on to impressive passages of play and near misses but in the crucial home matches against Atletico Madrid and Lazio his side took just one point out of six.

It is well documented that the Celtic squad was seriously depleted over the summer with three established players moving on with seven projects brought in as replacements.

Ironically two of those ‘projects’ scored the goals against Feyenoord but Rodgers knows that a core of older, experienced players is required if Celtic are to make the sort of progress that lured him back to the club during the close season.

It has been a challenge with key players being out, but over the course of the six games I have seen enough in how we have played and how we fought that if we can strengthen this squad and add quality in key areas we can take the confidence from this victory and look to qualify again next year and see if we can push on, if we arrive in this competition again but you have to have certain qualities to perform at this level.

There’s a number of things we have to do to bridge the gap. We have to play in a way that makes it really difficult for teams, surprise teams with the quality of our football but there’s no doubt, you can’t get away from it, we have got to have a deeper squad of players to compete at this level.

I said to the players before the game, this is a competition and a level which can dent your confidence, but when you finish it, you will be better players for it and will have gained valuable experience, and you are still very good players that are in a process and, with some help, you will improve.

There is every chance that two of Celtic’s better players will be sold in the summer, after two and a half years at the club covering two Champions League campaigns it would be a surprise if Matt O’Riley remains a Celt next season. Clubs in Spain and Italy are bound to have been impressed by his Champions League performances.

Reo Hatate, Liel Abada, Daizen Maeda and Cameron Carter-Vickers will all rejoin the squad but a strong Starting XI being pushed for places from the bench is required over the next two windows if Celtic are to take anything other than a pay cheque from last night’s win.

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