Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has voiced concerns over his player’s safety after Leigh Griffiths was subject to missiles thrown at him during the club’s 2-0 win over Linfield last night.

The striker was booked as he failed to take a corner, his hesitation coming as various bottles, coins and cans were thrown from a small pocket of Linfield supporters. At the end of the game there was one Linfield fan who succeeded on getting onto the pitch to race towards the striker, although he was quickly removed from the fray.

Rodgers looked to play down the incident, but admitted that player safety has to be a priority.

“I didn’t see what it was but if that is the case then there’s always a worry,” said Rodgers. “I didn’t see or haven’t heard anything as yet. I could only see what I saw from the dug-out. It was maybe a bottle of some sort but whether it is a coin, a bottle or whatever it shouldn’t happen.

“The players should have a safe environment on the field and you want the passion from the stands to stay in there.

“You sometimes get these scenes not only here but throughout the country and it’s obviously not something we want to see.

“The game was in good spirit in the main and ideally it’s not what you want to see. I thought it was strange to see him getting booked for it.

“The talk is more on the football and for us the score line is ok. It could have been better but it gives us an advantage for the second leg.”

In terms of the football itself, Rodgers was satisfied with a performance that puts Celtic firmly on the front foot ahead of the second leg on Wednesday evening.

“It was better than the first game last year,” said the Celtic manager. “We got the job done. It’s still early in pre-season so match sharpness and being clinical will come. On what was always going to be a difficult occasion the players dealt with it reasonably well.

“Roy Carroll was outstanding and made some brilliant saves. It could have been five or six on another day. We came here to do a job and to win 2-0 is nice. We now look forward to Lyon and the game next week.”

HeraldScotland | Sport

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