Brendan Rodgers is facing Europa League sweat as Celtic injury list continues to mount

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Brendan Rodgers is facing a Europa League sweat after losing another two players to injury in Celtic’s shock defeat to Kilmarnock.

The Hoops boss now has a full team of crocked stars after Dedryck Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer limped off at Rugby Park.

They have joined Craig Gordon, Leigh Griffiths, Mikael Lustig, Tom Rogic, Stuart Armstrong, Patrick Roberts, Jonny Hayes, Anthony Ralston and Marvin Compper – who’s ineligible for clash with Zenit St Petersburg in just 10 days – on the treatment table.

Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths suffered an injury last week

Rodgers refused to use the injuries as an excuse for the 1-0 loss at Killie or to blame the plastic pitch for any role in them in only the second domestic defeat of his reign.

He said: “I’m not sure the pitch contributed. I don’t want to go on about the pitch. I’ve said many times before that you never get a good game here but we have been here three times before and managed to win.

“But of course it can be an issue, especially when players come off with groin and ankle injuries. Boyata looks like his groin. We’ll just have to assess it.

“Of course when you lose two out of your back three it makes it hard but I wouldn’t use that as any excuse.

“Jozo Simunovic is fit and will be ready for next week though.”

Jozo Simunovic has returned from injury

Rodgers insists the absence of so many of his first string provided little comfort in a defeat he confessed was a major disappointment.

He said: “There have been very few games where I would have said that in my time here but I thought in all aspects of it we weren’t so good today.

“Firstly defensively. We didn’t have a great deal to do but I didn’t think we were aggressive enough.

“And secondly with the ball. I accept surface is dreadful but we weren’t good enough in terms of our creativity, considering the talent we had on the pitch.

“It was a disappointing day for us.

“We could’ve played here until midnight and not scored. We weren’t really threatening.”



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