Qualifying For The Europa League A Massive Achievement - Brendan Rodgers


Rodgers' side were out of sorts in the first-half and, despite improvement after the break, an own goal by defender Jozo Simunovic in the 62nd minute meant the Hoops suffered defeat against the Belgian side following losses home and away to Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich.

Admitting his players have to improve hugely to compete at the top level in Europe, however, Rodgers said: 'The big picture is, having qualified for two Champions League, the ultimate aim was to get into the Europa League and the players have done that. "But the disappointment [from the game] is still fresh and everyone in that changing room is a little bit disappointed that we didn't manage to get the ball and play our own game".

Vanhaezebrouck knows that if his charges are to pull of an upset and qualify, they will need everything to be in their favour against Celtic.

The Parkhead manager admitted the result was a wake-up call for certain members of his squad as he said: "Some of our players have a long way to go before they can call themselves players at this level". But we've shown over the course of this campaign that we can be better'. It's the big games that count but we didn't do that against Anderlecht.

'We have done absolutely unbelievable.

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With neither side able to qualify for the knockout stages, at stake instead is a place in the Europa League, and he concedes he needs a lot of luck if the Scottish team are to miss out.

"We have done fantastic, we were fourth seeds and not many of them have got into third place".

'What we have to do is try to somehow bridge the gap.

'Once we have qualified can we have European competition, of course we want the Champions League but we have to be realistic.

Celtic sealed their qualification to the Europa League in spite of a 1-0 defeat at home to Anderlecht on Tuesday night. "It's a great accolade and hopefully he's got many more ahead of him".