Celtic boss Rodgers rails against Tynecastle turf

Celtic's manager Brendan Rodgers, pictured in 2017, said the length of the grass conspired to prevent both sides from playing a passing game
AFP

Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was frustrated by the pitch battle his side had to endure after coming from behind to beat Hearts 3-1 in the Scottish Premiership at Tynecastle on Sunday. 

The champions found life tough on their trip to Edinburgh before finally gaining a measure of revenge for their previous 4-0 defeat at Tyne castle that ended their lengthy unbeaten run.

Rodgers, however, was far from happy saying the length of the grass conspired to prevent both sides from playing a passing game.  

“I thought the win was outstanding,” he said. “But I sit a little bit embarrassed because of the pitch.

“You talk about standards, and this is a great club, Hearts, really passionate, (but) I felt really sorry for both sets of players.”

The Northern Irishman added: “You saw it early on, the ball got thrown out and it stuck in the grass it was that long.

“It’s not just to suit us, I’m talking about football in general. I was disappointed from a footballing perspective.

“It was the first time I said to a team of mine ‘building the game from behind is a huge risk because the ball is getting stuck’, so at half-time I said we had to play a more direct game, and from there we dominated the game.

“From a football perspective and for the spectators, that wasn’t football.”

He added: “This is about standards and the product of Scottish football. I’m talking about for the spectators and the young, gifted players in their team who can’t dribble or pass the ball properly because of the grass.

“If that’s what you want to do, then fine, but it’s not football,” who saw his side after goal from Dedryck Boyata, Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair saw the Hoops bounce back after Hearts had gone ahead through Kyle Lafferty’s 18th-minute volley.

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