Hart takes confidence from Champions League showing before red cards

The goalkeeper saved a penalty in the five minutes between the red cards.

Joe Hart takes confidence from Celtic Champions League showing before red cards SNS Group

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart will take confidence from their display with 11 men against Feyenoord as he and his team-mates seek to change their Champions League narrative.

The Dutch champions triumphed 2-0 in Rotterdam but Celtic’s hopes of a second-half comeback were dashed by red cards for Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Thiago Holm.

Hart saved a penalty in the five minutes between the red cards before being beaten again in the 76th minute.

The former England goalkeeper let in the opener from Calvin Stengs’ 30-yard free-kick in first-half stoppage-time after Celtic had more than held their own during the opening 45 minutes.

Celtic have now won just once in 22 Champions League group games and fans came away with similar frustrations to much of last season’s campaign, when their team’s two-point total was scant reward for some of their play.

When asked if it felt like the same old story, Hart said: “At the moment it feels like that but we are at the start of a new adventure. That’s the great thing about football, it always gives you a chance. This is a brand new season, whatever has been, has been.

“It’s a tournament of six games for us and we believe we put ourselves in a good position to play Feyenoord at home.

“Obviously we have got four other games that we need to take care of compete in. Now we know one of our rivals in this tournament, we feel like we can definitely compete with them.

“We had plenty of character, desire and buying into the messages that we are being given.

“We were in a good game, a close, close game and obviously a few things went against us, some of them self-inflicted, and you fall on the wrong side in this competition.

“But overall, 11 v 11, I felt like we could have given it a right good go.

“An avoidable goal just before half-time and two red cards makes it difficult.”

Hart described the opening goal as a “perfect storm” after the wall failed to do its job and then the ball curled just out of his grasp after skidding off the wet surface in Rotterdam.

“The guy running across Kyogo, causing Kyogo to move,” Hart said.

“”I have obviously got to hold my ground. As a goalkeeper you have got to hold your ground, especially when it’s very close to people’s shoulders, you’ve got to wait ’til it goes past them because you can’t over-commit.

“Once it went past Kyogo, I couldn’t get across quickly enough with the skip and the curl on the ball.

“It’s disappointing, obviously disappointing on my behalf, I’ve got high standards.

“But that doesn’t define the game, there was plenty more to come, and we were going toe to toe with a good team and it felt like we could have achieved something.”

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