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Celtic win was vital, says Rogic

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 71

Pin A superb solo strike from Socceroos star Tom Rogic, pictured (L) in a file photo, his first at Celtic Park, put the home side in front in the 45th minute in a crucial 3-1 win over St Johnstone
A superb solo strike from Socceroos star Tom Rogic, pictured (L) in a file photo, his first at Celtic Park, put the home side in front in the 45th minute in a crucial 3-1 win over St Johnstone

Celtic win was vital, says Rogic

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 71

Australian international Tom Rogic said it was vital Celtic bounced back from their Champions League disappointment after the midfielder helped his side to a 3-1 win over St Johnstone.

The Hoops' loss to Malmo in midweek means Celtic missed out on the riches of the lucrative group stages of Europe's elite club competition and consigned them to another season in the Europa League.

St Johnstone took advantage of the Glasgow giants' fragile state early on as Dedryck Boyata's own goal gave them an 11th minute lead.

However, Leigh Griffith's deflected shot hauled the Hoops level seven minutes later before a superb solo strike from Socceroos star Rogic -- his first at Celtic Park -- put the home side in front in the 45th minute.

Substitute Charlie Mulgrew nodded home a third in the 67th minute to move Celtic back to the top of the Scottish Premiership and Rogic said the result was the perfect tonic for their European heartache.

"It was important to put that behind us and come out here at home and get a win and a good performance," Rogic, who has endured an injury-hit time at Celtic, said.

"We have to move on and just learn from it and get better.

"On a personal note, it was pleasing to get the goal and I'm happy.

"I feel comfortable playing anywhere in the middle of the park but I'm just happy to be playing and being in the team and helping them win.

"It was special to score in front of my home fans and I'm sure I won't forget it."

Celtic reached the last 32 of the Europa League last season before being eliminated by Italian giants Inter Milan.

However, they face a tough task to escape the group stages this time around after being paired with Ajax, Turks Fenerbahce and Norwegian champions Molde.

"It's a tough draw with some good teams, but we're working to improve each day and make sure we are ready for these challenges," the Australian midfielder added.

"I guess time will tell how well we will do but our job is just to make sure we are prepared and ready for it."

His manager Ronny Deila had labelled his side scared and frightened as they exited the Champions League on Tuesday night but the Hoops gaffer was happy with their response.

"I'm very proud of the performance today and I think we played some good football," he said.

"We had a hard start and showed character. We created a lot of chances and should have scored more. It was an important game to get back on track again."

Celtic introduced new signing Tyler Blackett to the crowd at half-time after the defender signed on a season-long loan from Manchester United.

Deila said the England under-21 international, who can play in central defence or at left-back, will add quality to his squad. "He's a good, young, up-and-coming player who has experience playing for Manchester United," Deila added.

"He really wanted to come and play for Celtic and we wanted him as well, so it will be a good signing."

However, the Celtic manager refuted the suggestion he was a ready-made replacement for Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, who has been linked with a move to Southampton.

"There has been more than one club interested in him but we will see what happens," Deila said.

"There are four days left and nothing has happened. From a coaching perspective we want to keep Virgil as he's a great player."

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