Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has said that the club need more quality in the squad if they are to improve in European competition.
Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat to Lazio in Rome left Celtic bottom of their Champions League group with only one point from five games, and no prospect of European football after Christmas.
It’s the second season in the row the team have exited at the group stage and while Rodgers believes the players will learn from the experience and benefit from facing top-level opposition, the club also needs to add to the squad to compete.
The Celtic boss noted that he was without some important players in Rome, with Reo Hatate and Liel Abada out injured, and Daizen Maeda and Luis Palma suspended. Rodgers made it clear he wanted investment in the team to help raise the standard and improve their prospects.
“It’s the overall quality,” he said. “We need to have our very best players available.
“What makes the difference is that bit of experience and genuine quality.
“It’s something we can hopefully resolve over the next couple of windows.
“The group of players have gained more experience at the level. They’ve shown that they can compete at a lot of the games.
“But we need to add quality. That’s the glaring thing that stands out within the squad. If we can have those players available that are on the sidelines, add to that, then we can go again and push forward.”
The Celtic boss defended his side from any critics suggesting they may be better off playing at a different level.
“It’s important for us to be in this competition,” Rodgers said. “People will look at it and think ‘You’ve only had one point and you’ve struggled’ but it’s important for us as a club to be there, to help players develop and grow.
“I think they’ll learn from it for sure.”
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