BSP-16 Celtic boss Rodgers blames Dembele’s ‘explosive’ style for injury setback

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BSP-16

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Celtic boss Rodgers blames Dembele’s ‘explosive’ style for injury setback

LONDON, July 24, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Brendan Rodgers reckons the “explosive”
style of Moussa Dembele was a major cause in yet another hamstring injury
that will see the French striker miss Celtic’s Champions League second-round
qualifier at home to Rosenborg on Wednesday.

Dembele, 22, scored two goals in last week’s 3-0 win against Armenian club
Alashkert at Parkhead as the Scottish champions completed a 6-0 aggregate
victory but limped off in the second half.

“Moussa will probably be out for a couple of weeks, certainly both legs of
this round,” Celtic manager Rodgers told reporters on Tuesday.

“It is a minor strain. Sometimes the hamstring can be six to eight weeks
but this is one that from the time it happened, we have been told two to
three weeks maximum.

“It is unfortunate because he has looked very good over pre-season but he
will be back fit and strong.”

The former Liverpool boss added: “Maybe he has it once or twice a year.
Sometimes you get that with explosive players.

“As I say, they are into the season early. He couldn’t have done any more.
He came back lean and fit, it is just one of those unfortunate things. But he
will be back soon.”

The Northern Irishman said that, ideally, clubs would not be playing
fixtures as early as July.

“I feel for all the coaches up here, in terms of Champions League, Europa
League and the (League) Cup games,” Rodgers remarked. “Managers and players
are expected to be in full flow within one or two weeks which is unrealistic
really.”

“I feel for all managers and players who are having to get teams out to win
games when this time of the season is for fitness,” added Rodgers, who also
said Odsonne Edouard had overcome a knee injury ahead of the first leg
against Norwegian side Rosenborg.

Celtic, the first British club to win the European Cup back in 1967, have
played in the Champions League proper in the last two years but now face four
qualifiers instead of three this season.

Greek club AEK Athens are waiting for Celtic if they beat Rosenborg, who
recently experienced off-field turmoil when manager Kare Ingebrigtsen and his
assistant Erik Hoftun were sacked last week — a decision that led to the
Rosenborg players issuing a statement saying they “vehemently disagreed” with
the move.

“Obviously the manager previously had great success and it sound like he
built up a real bond with the players,” said Rodgers.

“For them to qualify and for him to lose his job was obviously a surprise
and the support of the players and the supporters showed they maybe weren’t
so happy with the decision.

“However, the club has made the decision and the players and the new coach
(Rini Coolen) has to move on.

“It can work one or two ways. It can either galvanise the team or it can
have a negative effect.

“But our concentration is very much on ourselves to do our own job and we
will look to do that over the two legs.”

BSS/AFP/MRI/2340 hrs