Scott Brown says Brendan Rodgers has brought smiles back to Celtic players

The Scottish champions have crashed out in the qualifying stages in the play-offs two seasons in succession and had to settle for Europa League football instead.

Celtic Manager Brendan Rodgers says his team are ready for Lincoln Red Imps, and will treat them with respect as they are a hard-working side.

Alman joked about the match, saying he is looking to be "4-0 up in the first-half, anything else is a disappointment for us" before undertaking a more serious analysis.

Celtic start their campaign in Gibraltar on Tuesday with the first-leg second qualifying round match against Lincoln Red Imps.

Lincoln play at the 5,000-seater Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar and Brendan Rodgers' men will have to play their way into the next round on the artificial turf at the foot of the famous rock.

"We have put in a lot of great work, not just on the field where the fitness has been developed throughout, but also in the tactical ideas we are trying to implement which I can see improving on a daily basis", he said.

On the draw with Maribor, Rodgers added: "Maribor, for five of the last six years have been Slovenian champions so it was really good exercise for us and the players coped and adapted really well in what were very hot conditions and the preparation for the game on Tuesday was flawless. We have a long way to go before we are ideally where I want us to be at, certainly all the signs so far makes me think I am really looking forward to this season", he told reporters. There is no game that is any bigger or smaller. "So for us it doesn't change".

"I have really enjoyed working with all the players and getting to see them", added Rodgers.

"The game is based on ourselves and we'll go in with a focus and on the front foot".

"The pitch and the heat will always make it a little bit more hard, but we'll be ready for the whistle to blow". But we haven't had a major club until this.

I felt we left Lennoxtown, having worked well, and at the end of this 20-day period, we travel to our first European qualification game as a team. "I hope we can make the most of it".

Related news: