Brendan Rodgers reveals Celtic half-time rollicking but namechecks unexpected standout from Queen's Park goal fest

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers
-Credit: (Image: Celtic TV)

Brendan Rodgers has revealed he gave his Celtic players a half-time rollicking after a goal fest at Queen's Park.

The champions stepped up their pre-season preparations with a remarkable TEN-goal thriller at Lesser Hampden as Kyogo's hat-trick inspired Celts to an entertaining 6-4 victory. But Rodgers was far from happy with his team's pressing as the Spiders took advantage of some lacklustre defending to go into the break just 3-2 down.

Rodgers made his feelings clear at the interval as he delivered some home truths to his first-half XI which included the likes of Matt O'Riley, Odin Thiago Holm and Tomoki Iwata. And while the Northern Irishman admits his team have a long way to go to reach the levels he expects, the Parkhead boss was pleasantly surprised by Francis Turley as the impressive academy graduate marked his 30-minute cameo with a goal.

Delivering his post-match thoughts to Celtic TV, Rodgers was asked if he was happy with his side's showing in Mount Florida. He said: "Yeah, some bits of it. It is about fitness but there were lots of elements of the first-half that I wasn't happy with, especially with some of the guys that should understand the game better. Our pressing was nowhere near the level of what I would expect, and that's what I said at half-time.

"The first 15 minutes we pressed the game better than what we did in all of the 45 minutes. And then that continued in the second half. You expect some little mistakes and things can happen in the game but overall, you see that we still have a long, long way to go in the pressing side of our game. But also, there were some pleasing moments in the game as well.

"None more so than the second-half in young Francis Tuley coming into the game. I've only seen him in the last few days and you can see he's a football player. He does some wonderful things with the ball and has a natural instinct to get into the box. I was really pleased for him in that final half hour. But overall, another good exercise and another step up for us from the other night."