Dedryck Boyata: Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers not drawn on defender's future

Dedryck Boyata: Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers not drawn on defender's future

Javier Howell
August 15, 2018

The Scottish cahmpions have qualified for the Champions League for both of Brendan Rodgers' previous seasons at Celtic Park, but this year they could not overcome AEK Athens in the third qualifying round, as they lost 3-2 on aggregate.

I thought a lot of our build-up play was worth something from the game but you can't defend that softly.

Celtic were on the back foot before kick-off, with Rodgers forced to address Dedryck Boyata's absence because of injury or - as is widely presumed - an obdurate reaction to the club's refusal to allow approaches from the likes of Sevilla, Lazio or Lyon and their rejection of a bid from Fulham.

The visitors were forced to pile men forward as a result and eventually pulled one back 12 minutes from time through Sinclair's well-placed header, but AEK managed to hang on.

Boyata, who helped Belgium reach this summer's World Cup semi-finals, added that he was "with all my team-mates to bring the qualification".

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'The physio saw it and examined me right after the session.

Boyata stressed he had full confidence in his agent and that, since joining Celtic from Manchester City in 2015, he had played a number of times while not 100% fit.

"Celtic's business model in recent years has been to sign younger players cheap, develop them and sell them on when they go into the last year of contact".

The shock defeat comes amidst a backdrop of increasing tension between Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and the board.

"My concentration really until I get back is only with the players that are here". "The last two seasons we've qualified and done well".