CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers last night insisted that Kilmarnock’s set-up made for a difficult watch last night.

The sides played out a drab 0-0 draw, the third time this season that Steve Clarke has taken something from the Parkhead side.

“It wouldn’t matter if you put 11 firemen that deep on a pitch,” said Rodgers after the game. “It is always going to be very difficult and even more so when you have good players who are organised.

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“We didn’t have any natural strikers but we take a point and credit to Kilmarnock for defending well even if it was not a great game to watch.

“It is always difficult when you play against that system which is very deep and very low, especially at this stage of the season.

“If we score they have to come out and chase the game.

“You do need that bit of brightness and cleverness in there and it didn’t come off for us.

“If you get an early goal then it opens it up a bit more. But we weren’t able to.

“We had total control of the game and got into some good areas. We just didn’t have that bit of luck to break through.

“On the plus side we managed to get a lot of guys some game time and we also kept a clean sheet.

“Stevie gets them very compact and tight. Over the last few games, they have maybe opened up a bit and conceded. So coming to here, he wasn’t going to do that.

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“If you make an early breakthrough, it gives a better opportunity, but we couldn’t quite do that.”

Rodgers opted to leave Moussa Dembele out of the starting line-up given the scarcity of fit strikers at the club. Leigh Griffiths is expected to return to training this morning but Odsonne Edouard’s season has been prematurely ended with a hamstring tear.

Dembele sat out of the 5-0 win over Rangers with Rodgers fearful of a recurrence of a hamstring problem so there was little surprise when he failed to appear for the game against Killie.

“There’s no doubt if I’d had the players available, I’d have played a different system against that low block, but it was too big a risk,” said Rodgers. “Moussa is my only fit striker at the moment and he’s coming back from an injury.

“It was a hindrance for us because I would have played a different shape if I had my strikers fit.

“Moussa is our only fit striker at the moment – plus he is coming back from injury – so I couldn’t put him at risk.

“I need him for the weekend so he should come back in for the Aberdeen game.”