Brendan Rodgers has opened up on his Champions League development plan.
A 5-0 defeat from Paris Saint Germain left some Celtic fans wondering if it was worthwhile, in football terms, to be in the top tournament.
Rodgers’ job is to lift the players to resume their domestic dominance and also to be competitive in the Champions League with five more matches to follow even with 888sport dismissing their chances of progressing.
While Celtic look to bring in younger players to develop into Champions League quality PSG are able to spend £366m to bring in two ready made strikers to support Edinson Cavani.
On the sidelines is Angel di Maria who was the 2014 Champions League Man of the Match for Real Madrid before £50m transfers in successive summers to Manchester United and PSG.
“You can’t take away the human element,” Rodgers explained to the Daily Record. “We have grown so much in a year and learned but you have to respect that it’s a humbling experience to be up against guys who are worth £200m and are in a team put together to win this competition.
“That can be difficult. I’m trying to build a mindset where success is not just qualification. We wanted to qualify and fly the flag – and that’s great. But we’re also in it to compete.
“This will be like any defeat. The setback will provide the motivation going forward. The players will learn. They are honest and when you have honesty in defeat it helps you grow.”
“It is a similar process. It is not just a click of the fingers – you need to have respect for what a footballer goes through and the whole expectation.
“It is a great tribute to them that lots of people coming into the stadium the other night were thinking we could maybe get something against that level of opponent.
“They showed what real top-level football is. That team would be better than most national teams. The array of talent, the experience – that is world football at its very best.
“To have young guys from here playing against that – and what we are trying to do is be competitive against them.”
Rodgers is expected to make a number of changes for Saturday’s clash with Ross County which is quickly followed by three away days at Dundee, Sevco and Anderlecht.