Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers will not press the panic button after his side’s embarrassing defeat to part-timers Lincoln Red Imps from Gibraltar in the first-leg of their Champions League qualifier on Tuesday.
Striker Lee Casciaro, a policeman, scored in the 48th minute to condemn the former European champions to arguably their worst ever defeat on a night when former Liverpool boss Rodgers was making his competitive debut for Celtic.
British media were quick to give their verdict on the humiliating loss, with the Guardian calling it the “Shock of Gibraltar”.
But Rodgers said there had been no shame in losing to the team of part-timers.
“There is no embarrassment,” he told British media.
“It was a tough game in tough conditions. We didn’t take our chances, they took their chance. We dominated and created enough chances to score.”
“It doesn’t matter the team, the level. Teams have good organisation, 11 players behind the ball. Throw the pitch into that, it’s very, very tough for the players.”
Rodgers, who was sacked by Liverpool last October before taking over at Celtic in May, said they had to turn their attention to the return leg next Wednesday.
“I’ve been around the game often enough, I know these results can happen. We stay calm,” he added. “We need to put in a performance next week. The result here complicates it a bit for us. We move on to next week.”
He also urged Celtic fans to be patient.
“Celtic fans expect us to get through into the group stages. It was disappointing but the players gave everything they had,” Rodgers added.
“The message to them is to stay calm. This is a good group of players, they are working hard and in a week’s time we will need them.”