Celtic lacked real courage, says Rodgers

The Celtic captain sported a polo shirt as he arrived in Russia alongside fans on Wednesday

"For us, we have analysed the game from the first leg and, even though we played very well, creating opportunities and didn't concede, there are still areas where we can be better".

"Then we have to look to be better in Europe again, as we were this year, and try to take another step forward". "We didn't defend forward well enough".

It was then advantage Zenit 20 minutes later when a curling shot by Kuzyayev found its way past Celtic goalkeeper Dorus de Vries putting them 2-0 up on the night.

"Dembele was very good and aggressive, Ntcham was good and Brown always is, he is excellent for the team", Rodgers said, as quoted by STV. "Last week was an outstanding performance and you would think that would allow us to come into this game with confidence".

Their often early starts to the season with qualification probably don't help in the grand scheme of things, but for now, their attention must turn back to the league as they attempt to defend their title. We didn't close the space quick enough.

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Despite their disappointment in Russia, Rodgers' side will need to quickly regroup ahead of a must-win clash with Aberdeen at Pittodrie in the Scottish Premiership.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed that his side should have had "more courage and more belief" in their Europa League last-32 second-leg game at Zenit St Petersburg.

Nir Bitton could be sidelined for the season with a knee problem but Rodgers will hope some of his other injured players - Dedryck Boyata (groin), Craig Gordon (knee), Leigh Griffiths (calf), Marvin Compper (calf), Jonny Hayes (broken leg), Anthony Ralston (knee), Stuart Armstrong (hernia) and Patrick Roberts (hamstring) - will soon be available. "The goals we gave away were really disappointing goals from that aspect".

"Aberdeen have been on the ropes for the last three or four years against Celtic".

Russian website Sport Express Ru have rated the Celtic players for last night's defeat to Zenit St Petersburg, and it doesn't look pretty for the SPL side. They may be troubled by a couple of extra injuries, and they don't have much to play with defensively. "We know it is going to be hard but we believe we can do it".