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Manager: Leipzig win will give us inspiration against Valencia

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AS Celtic prepare to host Valencia in the last 32 knockout round of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, Brendan Rodgers said his players will draw inspiration from their dramatic group-stage win over RB Leipzig at Paradise.

After a disappointing result in Germany, the Hoops welcomed the Bundesliga outfit to Celtic Park on November 8, 2018, and won 2-1 in sensational style.

Kieran Tierney put the home side ahead on 11 minutes, which allowed them to press deep in search of second. Jean-Kevin Augustin snagged a late 78th-minute equaliser, but just 14 seconds later, Odsonne Edouard capped off a classy team move to restore the Scottish champions’ lead, whipping the Paradise faithful into a frenzy in the process.

Brendan Rodgers is confident his players can emulate that confidence, togetherness and directness against Valencia this week, in what is sure to be another memorable night in the East End of Glasgow. The manager also stressed the importance of patience in Celtic’s game, which applies both when dominating teams or when digging deep against top opposition.

“Patience is part of the game,” Brendan Rodgers told this week's Celtic View. “That’s the understanding of the game. You’re playing against good teams. Valencia have only lost four times all season in one of the biggest leagues in Europe. It’s about respecting that the opponent is a good side. It’s up to us to ensure we go and deliver a game and an intensity in our game that gives the supporters that hope.

“The Leipzig game was a wonderful demonstration of that, where we played really well in the game. We played ever so well but then got pegged back. They scored a goal that we could have defended better but then straight away we go and score. They’re always tense games because there’s so much on them but they’re really enjoyable games. They players enjoy them, we as staff enjoy them and hopefully the support can enjoy them as well.

“You’ve always got to be mindful of the fact, as I always say, a slap in the back is never too far away from a slap on the backside. The players are absolutely amazing, the effort that they put in, not just in games but on a daily basis, to prepare themselves, to get themselves right.

“We plan, we prepare, we give them the detail for each game, we never miss out, as coaching staff, on any detail for them to be the best they can be. And then the players have got to go and deliver. On Thursday, we hope to do that.”

Read our full and exclusive interview with Brendan Rodgers in this week’s Celtic View – on sale from tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13.

To download the digital version of the Celtic View, click on the banner below.

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