Edinburgh (AFP) – Brendan Rodgers paid tribute to his Celtic stars for their “incredible” run after their record 69-game unbeaten streak ended in a shock 4-0 defeat at Hearts on Sunday.
Rodgers’ side had set a new British record for unbeaten domestic matches last month, but that amazing run was shattered at Tynecastle as the Scottish champions were beaten for the first time since May 2016.
Celtic boss Rodgers admitted Hearts deserved to end the run.
But he was quick to salute his players for their efforts since his arrival in Glasgow.
“First of all, I need to give credit to Hearts. It’s a thoroughly deserved win; they were the better team,” Rodgers said.
“We didn’t cope with their physicality, we made too many mistakes.
“We could have played five games today and not scored a goal.
“But I also want to congratulate my players. To have gone through 69 games and this to be their first defeat; of course it’s a sore one when you are beaten like that but they can hold their heads up.
“They have been absolutely amazing over those 18 months.”
Rodgers gathered his players on the Tynecastle pitch at full-time and urged the Scottish Premiership leaders to use the frustration of defeat as fuel for another long unbeaten run.
“I know the disappointment and the honesty of the group; it was just a case of saying remember what this feels like – that obviously hurts – but also to remind them that what they’ve done is incredible,” he said.
“It’s over now and we need to get ready to go again.
“We hit the reset button and look to get three points in our next game.”
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