Brendan Rodgers addresses Celtic 'narrative' of discontent and sends injury latest on two stars after cup win
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Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda scored either side of half-time to secure Celtic a place in the quarter-final draw. Rodgers' side started slowly amid the grumbles of frustrated supporters but their quality shone through in the end.
Despite sitting top of the Scottish Premiership and progressing into the last-eight of the cup, talk around Parkhead has been of growing discontent amid a run of decent results but underwhelming performances. Rodgers insists his side are together, however, and expects to see an improvement soon.
“I think we managed the game well in the second-half,” Rodgers told Viaplay after full-time. “It was always going to be a tricky game, St. Mirren were in a good run of form and obviously the narrative around our team is that we're not together.
"You can't come and win comfortably like that if you're not. I thought the guys did really well and I’m pleased and proud of them.
“That was the message to the players really, when you are successful - and this club has been for a long period - it doesn't take much for people to want to bring you down.
"I think for us, it is just keeping that calmness. We know we haven't been consistently playing to a [top] level but we'll get there. I can't complain about the players, guys coming in, adapting and giving us absolutely everything.”
Rodgers was forced to name an almost second-string defence amid continued injury issues in that area of the pitch. Greg Taylor has missed the last four matches while Cameron Carter-Vickers has struggled for fitness all season.
The Hoops are back in Premiership action at home to Kilmarnock next weekend and Rodgers is hoping to welcome Taylor back into the squad for that game.
“Taylor has been a big miss for us, it's only when he's out that you see what he brings with brightness, cleverness, technique and physicality. But he's back training and will be available for next weekend.
"Carter-Vickers won't be too long, he's out on the pitch but it's been a challenging year for him with the operation and from that he's had rumblings and it's taken all year to get over that. He's back on the pitch and hopefully in the next few weeks he’ll be okay.”