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Rodgers proud of Celtic domination

Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says he is proud of his side’s desire to win as they picked up their ninth victory in a row as they defeated Partick Thistle 4-1 at Firhill.

The Hoops extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to 11 points with two games in hand as their unbeaten start to the season continues.

The Glasgow giants have dropped just two points in 14 matches and former Liverpool boss Rodgers says he is delighted with the development of his side since his arrival at Celtic Park in the summer.

“Overall I am absolutely proud of the players for the effort they are putting in. Their focus and mentality and that relentless attitude to want to win games is clear,” Rodgers said.

“The mentality of the team is very strong. The fitness we’ve built up mentality over the course of the season is helping the players.

“I can see the development of the players and the relationship between training and playing and how they’re taking on concepts of our build-up and consolidating the game.

“Obviously we’ve got goals in the team and we’re a very aggressive team and we attack.

“The team is maturing a lot and are staying very composed and calm under pressure and that’s a real good sign so early in our relationship working together.”

The Celtic manager added: “We’ve come in with a new way of working and there’s a big demand and big intensity on a daily basis. They’ve coped with that and grew with that every single day.

“In order to do that you’ve got to be prepared to change a little but if you can then it will change a lot in your game and I can see those changes in how we play developing all the time.”

Thistle looked to have frustrated Celtic in the first half before Stuart Armstrong tapped in a cross from Leigh Griffiths in the 39th minute.

The recalled Celtic striker, making his first start in over a month, was the provider again as he played a short free-kick for Armstrong to arrow a shot past Tomas Cerny in the 48th minute before Griffiths got his name on the scoresheet less than a minute later with a curling strike.

Thistle pulled one back on the hour mark as some sloppy marking allowed Liam Lindsay to head Sean Welsh’s floated free-kick into the box past Craig Gordon.

Callum McGregor finished the scoring for Celtic in the 82nd minute as he volleyed past Cerny for their 70th goal in all competitions this season.

“It was an outstanding result for us. I don’t think they’ve conceded more than two goals in a game this season before tonight,” the Celtic manager said.

Celtic now face three home games in the space of seven days in a gruelling festive fixture list but Rodgers says his side will be happy to be back at Parkhead.

“The players will have a deserved day off tomorrow as they need to recover,” the Celtic manager said.

“Then we will be back in and the only focus is now Hamilton and we need to keep this momentum going.

“We’ve got three games at home now which will be brilliant as it will be great to be back at Celtic Park as we’ve not been there for a few weeks.”

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