Brendan Rodgers praises Nir Bitton's centre-back display in Celtic's Champions League win

Brendan Rodgers Celtic Manager looks on during the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Third Round, First Leg match between Celtic and Rosenborg at Celtic Park Stadium on July 26, 2017 in...

Nir Bitton had to play the majority of Celtic's game with Rosenborg at centre-back after Erik Sviatchenko had to be taken off due to injury.

Brendan Rodgers has suggested that Nir Bitton's performance during Celtic's Champions League qualifier win over Rosenborg hinted that the Israel international had been a centre-back all of his life, BBC Sport reports.

The Hoops booked their ticket to the play-off round of the competition as a James Forrest goal just over 20 minutes from time saw them win 1-0 on the night and on aggregate having secured a goalless draw at Parkhead one week ago.

Nir Bitton (C) of Celtic is tracked by Josh Windass (L) and Rob Kiernan (R) of Rangers during the Betfred Cup Semi-Final match between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden Park on October 23,...Nir Bitton

However, Bhoys fans would have been forgiven for doubting their chances of progressing after 25 minutes when Erik Sviatchenko had to be taken off with a knee injury and was replaced by Bitton, who, of course, is naturally a central midfielder.

But Bitton helped keep the Norwegian side at bay, and Rodgers was full of praise for the 25-year-old and suggested that his performance was symbolic of the mentality of the squad.

"We have a way of working, we've identified a style of football and we have a philosophy in how we defend and attack. You never want to lose players with injuries, but when you do others step in," he said, as reported by BBC Sport.

"Look at Nir Bitton, came in as a midfield player but played at the back as though he'd been there all his life."

It may perhaps be fair to suggest that that performance could potentially prove to be an important one for Bitton's Celtic career after he endured a difficult season last term.

Brendan Rodgers Celtic Manager looks on during the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Third Round, First Leg match between Celtic and Rosenborg at Celtic Park Stadium on July 26, 2017 in...

Rodgers predominantly strengthened his options in the middle of the park over the summer, so it had appeared that Bitton was in danger of being given even fewer opportunities this term.

And while the opportunity only came about due to injury and came in a different position to the one Bitton predominantly plays, he will be hoping that he did well enough when given the chance to have made a statement to Rodgers.

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