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Brendan Rodgers has launched a stinging defence of his backline and says critics have no cause to slaughter his stoppers.

The Celtic manager pointed to the fact that the club didn’t make the group stages of the Champions League despite having Virgil van Dijk in their ranks before his arrival as he stuck up for his rearguard

Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simunovic and stop-gap Nir Bitton have all been slated at various stages this term, yet Rodgers feels some of the stick is unwarranted.

Celtic have lost only 15 goals in 22 Premiership games, with four of those coming on one off-day at Hearts.

Jozo Simunovic is currently in Dubai with the Celtic squad

Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata and Rangers winger Daniel Candeias battle for the ball
Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata and Rangers winger Daniel Candeias battle for the ball

Rodgers has now added German Marvin Compper to boost the ranks.

And, although Celtic took clubbings from PSG in the Champions League, the boss: “There’s a lot of focus on our boys defensively, but there has to be a bit of respect and reality as to who they are playing against.

“Celtic didn’t qualify for the Champions League and they had van Dijk and Jason Denayer at centre-half. Who do people want Celtic to get if we can’t qualify with those two?

“I hear a lot of talk about: Get a new centre half.

“But, defensively, our team I think is very, very good. We could always be better, but we are a collective. We defend as a team and press as a team.

“The response to when we lost to Hearts…



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