Scott Brown challenges teammates to prove Brendan Rodgers wrong

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers consoles Patrick Roberts as he suffers an injury

"We couldn't keep the ball", Rodgers said.

"The context of the game affected the performance in the first-half with them having to chase the game".

"Overall, the best team won, but the bigger picture was to get through to the Europa League by finishing third and that would be a massive achievement", he told BT Sport.

"Our aim at the beginning of this competition was to get through to the Europa League stage, so there's enormous pride at doing that".

Celtic go into the draw for the round of 32 of the Europa League which takes place in February, a spot which the Glasgow club would have taken before the group stages began. We have a lot to look forward to and we have a few months to prepare for that and be ready for it.

"Maybe some of the players felt they have a long way to go before they can call themselves players at this level", he said.

"We did our best to try and do something and it didn't happen but we have to stay focused and work hard for the Europa League".

Celtic defender Scott Brown echoed Rodgers' sentiments and said it had been a tough night for his team, who saw Anderlecht dominate the first half before going ahead after the break.

"We have to have a touch of realism here as well".

"We have done fantastic, we were fourth seeds and not many of them have got into third place".

"We are a long, long way behind in relation to budgets and structures and other things at the very top level".

Anderlecht boss Hein Vanhaezebrouck claimed his side needed a second goal to induce "panic" inside Celtic Park.

The visitors arrived needing to win by three goals or more to ensure it'd be they, and not Celtic, playing European football after Christmas but their efforts proved in vain. I only heard them occasionally but we should have scored a second goal to make them panic a little bit more.

"We knew what we had to do and had to dig deep at some point and we managed to get through to the Europa League and that was our aim at the start", he added.



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