GIVEN that the deck is already stacked against clubs of Celtic’s means in the Champions League, the last thing they need is to make a difficult task a near impossible one. That’s what they have conspired to do though so far on their travels in the Champions League.

That’s the view of their manager, Brendan Rodgers, who may not necessarily agree with the individual decisions to send off three of his men between their visits to Feyenoord and Atletico Madrid, but who has this week been stressing to his players the importance of keeping their full quota on the pitch in Rome.

That is where Celtic have now pitched up as they take their quest for their first away win in the Champions League in six years to the Stadio Olimpico, and Rodgers has told his men they have to be wary of the lower bar for red cards that comes with the competition these days if they are to have any hope of breaking that run.

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“Discipline is one of the key factors for us,” Rodgers said.

“I’ve been pleased with how competitive we’ve been when it’s been 11 against 11 in the competition.

“We have played some really good football and have defended as well as you can at this level when there are so many talented players.

“But we’ve had men sent off in two games now. And when you’re down to nine men and ten men at this level it’s near on impossible to get a result given the quality of the opposition teams.

“So that’s first and foremost what we have to have in our minds.

“I think if you look at all three of the sending offs we’ve had, there’s been nothing dangerous.

“Maybe Odin (Thiago Holm)’s was a challenge people could talk about. But it was more down to youthful energy.

“That said, that’s the discipline you need by being clever in the game. But the other two? I didn’t think Daizen (Maeda)’s was a sending off, nor Gustaf (Lagerbielke)’s in the first game.

“But we have to manage those situations better.”

As well as keeping 11 men on the field, Rodgers feels Celtic also need to piece together a more complete performance than they have managed so far in their Champions League fixtures this season, playing well and competing in patches but ultimately coming up short.

“It’s also about putting in a 90 minute-plus performance,” he said.

“In spells in a lot of the games we’ve played really well. That’s something you need to do consistently.

“The team is still young. And if you don’t have the experience at this level, you can play young. That’s what we’re trying to gain, that experience, but the only way you do that is by consistently being at this level.

“Champions League is where we want to be every season. And, okay, some of the results aren’t what we’ve been wanting. But that’s how you grow. You grow through that experience, and you grow through having quality. So hopefully we can do that over the coming seasons.

“I think for us, we have to start how we have looked to start all of the games. We are going to impose our way. It’s not about pragmatism, it’s just about being adaptable in the game.

“I think we’ve shown against Lazio at home, Atletico Madrid at home, Feyenoord for most of the first half, Atletico Madrid away for most of the first half, that we can impose our way.

“The big thing at this level is concentration. What might seem like someone is in a nothing position, they can all of a sudden put a crossfield ball in that can catch you out. So, the biggest thing for me is our concentration level in the game.

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“Look to play how we want to play, impose our game. I think the coaches and managers that I have spoken to after each of the games have always enthused about how we’ve played, but we just want to add that extra edge to it and get a result for it.

“If we can do that over the course of the 90 minutes, we would have a great chance of getting a result.”

As well as the likelihood of dealing with stricter officials and a lower bar for punishment than they may encounter in Scotland, Celtic will also have to contend with what is likely to be a raucous atmosphere in the 70,000-capacity arena, something Rodgers has experience of after leading his Leicester City team here in the UEFA Conference League semi-final against Roma last April.

“It was my first time here and it was an amazing atmosphere,” he said.

“The stadium was full and the noise was absolutely fantastic and fitting of a semi-final.

“We conceded a disappointing goal from a set-piece with Tammy Abraham scoring and that was the goal that knocked us out.

“But it was a great occasion and I am really happy to be back here again.

“It would be amazing to take Celtic to European semi-final at some stage in the future but there is a lot of growth needed for us to keep improving. But there is no doubt that that would be the ambition.

“The home crowd will be up for it. They are looking to win to guarantee European football.

“But it’s why you play. You come to arenas like this here and show your talent and show your spirit.

‘You stand and fight and that’s what we aim to do.”