- Brendan Rodgers is hoping to gee his side up ahead of facing Bayern Munich
- Celtic will face the Bavarian giants on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena
- Rodgers’ side are desperate to bounce back from their last defeat by PSG
Brendan Rodgers has urged his players to stand up and show the real Celtic when they face the superstars of Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening.
The Parkhead manager is eager to see his side learn the lessons of their 5-0 defeat to Paris St Germain in the first Group B match, when he claimed they ‘played like Under-12s’ in an over-cautious first half.
Celtic also suffered a bruising 7-0 reverse away to Barcelona in last season’s Champions League, so the need for a more imposing approach against another elite opponent has been high in Rodgers pre-match thoughts.
Brendan Rodgers has thrown down a challenge to his players to rise up against Bayern Munich
He will, however, have to perform another defensive rejig in the Allianz Arena after Jozo Simunovic failed to travel to Germany. The Bosnian centre-back suffered a reaction in his bid to recover from a hamstring injury.
‘We have a duty to play our game,’ insisted Rodgers. ‘That is what we have already spoken of.
‘If you are going to lose football games, especially at this level where you are up against it in terms of the opponents, then as long as you play how we play.
‘Our disappointment against Barcelona and PSG at home we didn’t quite impose our way of working. So our message is we have a duty to play how we play and that is to attack and be aggressive.
Celtic are desperate to get the humiliating defeat to Paris Saint Germain out of their system
‘The players have shown over the course of 16 months the improvements they are making.
‘It takes a little bit more time at this level because of the level of opponent, but you can still go out and impose your game. We have done that in European games and this is a great opportunity for us again to show that we have that nerve to play. That would be the idea going into it.’
Celtic almost seemed cowed by the wealth of high-profile talent PSG brought to Parkhead last month.
And Rodgers believes it is vital to avoid any inferiority complex when lining up alongside the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller in the tunnel this evening.
Celtic will be taking on the Bavarian giants inside their famous Allianz Arena
‘It can intimidate,’ he admitted. ‘But what we are facing here is a team that plays 4-2-3-1. The winger comes inside, the full-back goes outside, the striker peels off the shoulder.
‘If you can get up to people, which is always the challenge when you are pressing at this level with the technical ability of players, you can do something.
‘But collectively you have to be together. I am looking forward to the game. We will see how we can go and perform and let’s see if we can take something from it.’