JOE Hart tonight accepted full responsibility for the first goal Celtic conceded in their Champions League defeat to Feyenoord in Rotterdam – but insisted the Glasgow club showed they are good enough to enjoy a successful European campaign.

Hart failed to keep out a Calvin Stengs free kick in the second minute of added on time at the end of the first half in the De Kuip and allowed the Dutch champions to take the lead against the run of play.

The former England goalkeeper stressed that a “perfect storm” had undone all of the good work which the visitors did during the opening 45 minutes and resulted in them falling behind – including Kyogo Furuhashi leaving the defensive wall.

But he conceded that he should have been able to get to the shot and ensure that Brendan Rodgers’ team were level with Arne Slot’s side at half-time.  

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“We had a good first half but a disappointing end to it with the free-kick,” he said. “Going down to 10 then nine men made it difficult.

“It was a terrible time to lose the first goal, but that’s this level. It’s quick, sharp and there’s lots going on. There were a few factors at the free-kick, but I’ll look at my position. As the keeper, I want to be saving those.

“The ball skipped up, it was curling away. A guy ran across Kyogo in the wall and it affected him. It was a perfect storm for them and it went in. But I’ll look at myself, I always do that because I want to save everything.

“At Champions League level, you have to be honest. With any free-kick, you have to wait until it goes over the wall because it can skip off a shoulder. But it cuts down your reaction time. 

“I’m not making excuses, that’s facts. That’s the level we’re at and I didn’t manage to get across to it.”

Hart, who saved a second half Igor Paixao penalty, felt that Celtic still had a chance of getting a result before centre back Gustaf Lagerbielke and midfielder Odin Thiago Holm both got red carded.

He is hopeful that Swedish defender Lagerbielke will learn from the outing and avoid getting ordered off in future.

“That goal isn’t enough to define a tie,” he said. “We were in the game with the second half to play. At 11 v 11 we felt more than capable of getting a result. At the penalty, the ball was coming through to me so I just took care of that. The ref gave it and VAR checked it so I assume it’s right.

“We’ll see if Gus learns from it. He’s an honest kid who had a good first half. But this is the Champions League. In the SPFL, you can be a bit more physical. But at this level, players are clever and cute, they go down.

“The guy probably went down like he’d been left hooked, but he’s got every right to do that.”

Asked about his penalty save, he said: “That’s the life of a goalkeeper isn’t it? I’m never going to give up ever. Whether I could or couldn’t save the first goal it makes no difference to me. 

“It makes no difference to the way I play the rest of the game. I am going to play with confidence, I’m going to play with belief. I do my best to keep everything out the net as best I can.” 

Despite his bitter disappointment at the opening Group E defeat, Hart was encouraged by how Celtic performed when they had 11 men on the park and is convinced they can get their bid to reach the knockout rounds back on track when they face Lazio at home in their next match.

“We felt good in this competition, we felt like we should be here,” he said. “We were in a good  game and a few things happen and you lose 2-0. But even down to nine men we showed character, we showed heart. We showed a desire to stay in it and did our best to create chances.’ 

“You have to be careful. We are not going out there against a lame team and just punching ourselves in the face. We are constantly up against it. But Scalesy (Liam Scales) was fantastic tonight and (Alistair) Johnston and Greg (Taylor) and Gus to an extent, regardless of what happened. We were in a game and at our best it was close. 

 “A few decisive things went against us at key moments. You have to give respect to them, they beat us 2-0. But I think the way we played and the way we walk off makes us feel we can compete.

“It feels like the same old story, but it’s one of six games. We can certainly give them a game. We went toe-to-toe with them and we’ll feel good against them when we play again at the end of the group. We need to put ourselves in a good position before that game.”