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Rodgers: Celtic have quality to progress in Athens 

The Hoops boss insisted his team can grab the result they need in Greece to qualify.

Brendan Rodgers said he was confident Celtic possess the quality to go to Athens and get the result they need to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

The Hoops must score at least once in Greece if they are to progress to the play-off round after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park by ten-man AEK Athens.

Callum McGregor handed Rodgers' side the lead on 17 minutes, but Athens restored parity before half-time through Viktor Klonaridis.

The visitors were reduced to ten men for the last half-an-hour but Celtic were unable to find a winner.

Asked if he believed Celtic had the ability to score in Athens, he said: "There's no question of that, we'll have enough of the ball and have the players of quality to score.

"We'll have to defend well, it was always going to be a difficult game for us over there, whether it was 1-0 or 1-1 I always felt we'd have to go there and score anyway.

"It's still very much in the balance, of course it swings a bit to them because they are at home but we know we have the quality to go and perform well."

He added: "Everybody was wondering last year at the same stage if we could go out to Rosenborg and get a result.

"But we went there and produced a really good performance and won the game.

"I don't see any reason why we can't do that here, we respect that they are a good side but we also showed we can dominate the game and create chances.

"We'll have to put in a big performance but I have great confidence the players can do just that."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1426472-celtic-held-by-ten-man-aek-athens-in-qualifier-first-leg/ | default

Celtic dominated the opening stages of the Parkhead contest and drew reward for their work when McGregor tucked home Keiran Tierney's cut-back.

The Hoops' good work was undone, though, when Klonaridis pounced in the box to bring the visitors level.

Rodgers added: "If we were sat here at 1-0 I'd be talking about a fantastic performance.

"I'm still very proud of how we played, we started the game so well in every element.

"Our shape with the ball and pressing was at a real high level, we were in control of the game.

"Athens were probably looking to get to half-time to regroup but obviously we conceded.

"Whether with ten or 11 eleven, they set up in a deep block.

"I suppose our only frustration is we couldn't make the final pass count in the final third.

"Overall, we are still in a good position.

"It was always going to be a difficult game over there, but certainly after seeing how we played tonight it gives us great hope of going there and getting a result."

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