Date: 30th June 2016 at 8:35pm
Written by:

Nadir Ciftci was the first scorer of the Brendan Rodgers era as Celtic drew 2-2 with NK Celje tonight in Slovenia.

The former Dundee United man spent the second half of last season on loan to Eskisehirspor after failing to make an impact in the first half of the season.

Ciftci was expected to follow Anthony Stokes, Colin Kazim Richards, Calton Cole and Stefan Scepovic out the door but appears to earned a reprieve.

The 24-year-old was one of eleven half time substitutions that Rodgers made as he assessed his players in action for the first time.

Celje scored in the 28th and 50th minutes to leave Rodgers with a tough task on his hands with just under two weeks to go before the Champions League qualifiers kick off.

Eleven minutes into the second half Ciftci headed home a cross from Stuart Armstrong with Tom Rogic bringing the hoops level in the 75th minute with a well measured chip over the Celje keeper.

Speaking ahead of the match the former Liverpool manager said: “Everyone is settled in, the players have worked well over the last couple of days, the weather’s great and the hotel is very nice so it has started great.

There’s always a feel good factor and it’s also a change of environment. The camp is really about working hard, first and foremost, and gives the staff a chance to implement ideas and formulate that relationship on the field but also that team-building off the pitch as well.

The players are with each other a lot of hours in the day and they get a chance to talk and let new players integrate so all in all, when you come away to these sort of training camps, if you use the time well they can be very useful.”

CELTIC (first half) Gordon; Fisher, Ajer, Sviatchenko, Tierney; Johansen, Bitton, Allan; Christie,Griffiths, Forrest.

CELTIC (second half) Fasan; Ralston, O’Connell, McCart, Janko (Lindsay 89), Henderson, McGregor, Roberts, Rogic, Armstrong, Ciftci