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Wolves workout was perfect for us – Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers

Kyogo Furuhashi opened the scoring for the Hoops.

Pa Sport Staff
Saturday 29 July 2023 17:19 BST
Kyogo Furuhashi opened the scoring for Celtic (Brian Lawless/PA)
Kyogo Furuhashi opened the scoring for Celtic (Brian Lawless/PA) (PA Wire)

Brendan Rodgers felt Celtic’s 1-1 draw with Wolves in their Dublin friendly was “perfect” preparation for next week’s cinch Premiership curtain-raiser.

Japan striker Kyogo Furuhashi opened the scoring for the Hoops in the sixth minute after Reo Hatate had earlier struck the woodwork.

Celtic missed several chances, with Furuhashi hitting the top of a post, although the Premier League side had chances of their own.

Rodgers’ men continued to dominate after the break and new South Korean duo Yang Hyun-jun and Kwon Hyeon-kyu came on for their first appearances.

However, Wolves’ Brazilian striker Matheus Cunha, who hit a post early in the second half, levelled from the penalty spot in the 85th minute after Hoops goalkeeper Joe Hart was adjudged to have brought down substitute Matt Doherty in the box.

Rodgers told Viaplay Sports: “It feels like a loss whenever you concede late on, but the workout was perfect for us.

“I thought we had some spells of fantastic football, defensively against a good side, good players you have to defend and it’s the perfect type of game that we needed.

“Of course the game gets a bit broken when you’re making changes and you lose that fluency and the rhythm of the game, so I’m probably in that stage, second half, the last 25 minutes, we gave the ball away too much.

“So we have to be better in that aspect.

“But overall, we’re really pleased, a great exercise for us against a good side.

“It’s very important in any team of mine to look to impose and initiate the game as high up the pitch as you can and like I said, we have guys that are willing to work and run and they worked very well.

“It was a great finish by Kyogo but we had other chances as well, some other fantastic chances, but it was a really good exercise.”

Celtic play Spanish side Athletic Bilbao in James Forrest’s testimonial game at Parkhead on Tuesday night before the Scottish champions begin the league season against Ross County on August 5.

Rodgers said: “I just think it’s building again on the fitness aspects, the positioning.

“The team obviously plays well but there are certain phases of the game where we can improve. I thought in the build-up in the early stages we were very good, and then it’s dealing with a little bit more pressure.

“On Tuesday we’ll play two 45-minute teams. We need to get some minutes into their legs and obviously then that will be a final preparation game before the season starts. So that’s the idea for Tuesday.”

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