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We're used to dealing with teams who park the bus, says Rodgers

 

By Steven Beacom

Linfield's tactics against Celtic tonight will be similar to the vast majority of Scottish Premiership sides who visit Parkhead, according to Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers.

In last Friday's first leg of the Champions League qualifier at Windsor Park, David Healy's men sat deep and, thanks to the brilliance of Roy Carroll in goal, kept the score down to 2-0.

Expect the same approach in Glasgow, but as Rodgers explains that's the norm for full-time Scottish sides, let alone a part-time Irish League outfit.

"It was difficult for Linfield. They were having to keep the scoreline down. It's not just them, we've had that here in the league as well, where 2-0 is the new win," said the Carnlough man.

"Linfield are not out there on their own in how they played. David set his team out well. Sometimes you can save your side from a beating, and the psychological side of losing a lot of goals.

"The way he organised them and had them set up, they kept the lines tight and their goalkeeper was in top form. Hopefully Roy Carroll won't play so well this time.

"For us it was a case of job done. The players gained fitness and there was some good moments in our game."

On tonight's match, with Dundalk or Rosenborg awaiting in the next round, treble winning boss Rodgers said: "It should be a great occasion, the first competitive game back at Celtic Park this season with a good crowd. Hopefully it will be a good night for us and getting through is our aim."

Linfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew is relishing playing at Parkhead on a big European night. The Rangers fan has watched Celtic on these types of occasions on television. Now he and his team-mates get to be part of it.

"We all watch European nights here at Celtic so to experience playing in this arena will be special. We have to embrace and enjoy it," said Mulgrew last night ahead of training on the Parkhead pitch.

"We know how great these games are and for us to be part of it is very special.

"We have players in our ranks who have played on big nights, Roy Carroll for instance.

"It is something we have to learn to cope with very quickly."

On the troublemakers who ruined the first game, Mulgrew stated: "Yes there were idiots, but they wouldn't be supporters that come week in week out. I think the people supporting us at Parkhead will be the fans who are there for us all the time."

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