Not only did Rodgers’ squad lose to Kilmarnock last weekend, but they also lost 2-0 at home to Hearts. The latter’s first league victory at Celtic since 2007 came in the first half thanks to goals from Stephen Kingsley and Lawrence Shankland.

This has infuriated the Hoops’ fan base, who are now venting their frustrations on the team’s management. Against Motherwell and Ross County in March 2013, Celtic last suffered a losing streak in league play.

The Hearts finally broke a 14-match losing streak to the Celts thanks to goals from Shankland (a free header) and Kingsley (a free kick from 25 yards out). Furthermore, it was their first win at Parkhead in 25 games overall, dating back to 2009’s League Cup–winning penalty kick by Michael Stewart.

Thanks to this chain of events, Celtic are now only five points ahead of Rangers in the Premiership, down from a seven-point advantage. Also, Rangers still have time to win their two remaining games, including a home match against St. Johnstone.

What did Brendan Rodgers say?

As Celtic suffered their first Scottish Premiership defeat in almost a decade, a seething Brendan Rodgers apologized to fans when speaking to Sky Sports News after the game.

“Our desire and the mentality right from the off was nowhere near the level of a Celtic team. It was so passive it was frightening. I want to apologize to the support base – I don’t think I have ever had to do that with regard to performance but today they deserve it.

“It’s mid-December and you get, 60,000-odd fans here and the lack of desire and passion was just really really poor. It wasn’t the whole team, Callum Mcgregor was brilliant, trying to drive the team on, and one or two others.

“It is just that consistency and mentality. We won a game in midweek and have played some really good football at times. There is a mentality that you need to have consistently and we didn’t have that from the off.”

Brendan Rodgers press conference after defeat
Brendan Rodgers press conference after defeat

Brendan Rodgers press conference after defeat

Ex-Premier League coach singles out culprit

Only one week after suffering a loss at Kilmarnock, the coach ripped into his squad, claiming they were woefully inadequate. However, the head coach of the hoops team maintains that he was not startled by the decline in performance as he has seen it happen before.

“It is mentality and an ambition and a drive from within and a spirit that keeps pushing you. Guys like McGregor, who have this incredible mindset – he had to play two or three positions to try and get the team going in the game – that is something that comes from within. We need to activate that.

“I think it is always hard after a game in the week. The performance level was nowhere near it – I take responsibility for that because I pick the team to go out and perform.

“So, the result is on me. But at a club here you need that consistency and mentality because every game there is an expectation to win. We are playing in front of a full house, and we didn’t perform, and that disappoints me.”

Photos: Imago