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Rodgers: Celtic must work hard to qualify for the Champions League

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers insists his side do not have an easy route into the Champions League, and will be taking nothing for granted in their mission to reach the finals of the tournament.

The Hoops have done fantastically well to qualify for the tournament over the last two seasons, but face a stern test this time around as well with a trip to Armenia against Alashkert to begin with.

And Rodgers has been quick to play down any suggestion that it will be an easy tie.

“I think year on year, we’ve got better at it. It was only really the 20-minute period away in Astana last year where we found it difficult,” he said.

“Apart from that, the players have been very, very good throughout all the games.

“This year we go into it again but you’re not entitled to qualify. You have to earn the right and that’s something we always speak about. Celtic are respected throughout Europe because of the history and support-base, and when the team has qualified.

“We’ve had a good couple of seasons here with this group of players.

“We understand that it’s never easy but, as long as we stay calm and focus on our own game while respecting the other team, that always gives us a good chance.

“We’ll work hard over this phase of the qualification to get through because it’s something we really want to do.

“You always know there will be hairy moments along the way but we want to be in it.

“Potentially we have a hectic schedule of games ahead of us but it’s where the competition is. We’re proud to be in it, we’ve earned the right to be in it, and we’re working to, hopefully, qualify again. To do three on the spin would be brilliant.”
[Quotes via Daily Record]