Rodgers blames lack of creativity for rare Celtic defeat

Rodgers blames lack of creativity for rare Celtic defeat

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KILMARNOCK, United Kingdom, (BSS/AFP) – Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers bemoaned his side’s lack of creativity after they slipped to a shock 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday.The Hoops enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but failed to register a shot on target until the final minute after Congolese midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu’s 70th-minute strike secured Killie’s first win over the Scottish champions since October 2012.It is just the second domestic defeat Rodgers has suffered since arriving at Celtic Park in May 2016 having previously led the Glasgow giants on a record-breaking 69-match unbeaten run. Rivals Rangers’ recent revival was ended by a 2-1 defeat at Ibrox by Hibernian but Aberdeen’s 3-0 defeat of Hamilton cut the Hoops’ lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to eight points. “They deserved to win,” admitted Rodgers. “We weren’t creative enough with the ball. It was a disappointing day for us and we’ve not had too many of those in my time up here.”Defensively, we were a bit passive at times and I didn’t think we were aggressive enough.”I thought overall we had a lot of the ball but there was no real penetration or creativity to our game.”There was a lot of talent on the field but not enough quality from them.”Rodgers has been an outspoken critic of the artificial surface used at Rugby Park in the past.However, the Northern Irishman refused to use it or early injuries to defenders Dedryck Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer as excuses for his side’s loss.”It doesn’t help, certainly, when you lose two of your back three so early in the game,” Rodgers said.”Of course it means you’ve got to change and alter people’s positioning and obviously differ your plans.”But I felt we could’ve played here until midnight and not scored. We weren’t really threatening.”We can blame injuries, we can look at the pitch and all sorts where it’s very difficult to play but the bottom line is we weren’t so good today.”For Kilmarnock it was a fifth home win in a row as they continue their resurgence under Steve Clarke.The former West Bromwich Albion manager, who led his side to a 2-1 win over Rangers in December, has claimed four of six points against the Hoops since joining Killie in October last year.”It was a great performance from the team. Everybody made their contribution,” said Clarke, who has guided his side away from the relegation zone to a place in the top six.”I said we would have to play almost a perfect game and I think we managed to achieve that.”It’s down to hard work and application from the players. I’m probably a manager and a coach who demands a lot out of them. I’ve always been the same.”I like the players to work hard in training. If you work hard in training normally that performance transfers to the weekend matches and that’s been the case since I got here.”

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