THE red cards which Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Thiago Holm received in the space of six calamitous minutes against Feyenoord on Tuesday night might have effectively ended Celtic’s hopes of salvaging a result in their Champions League opener.

Yet, as Callum McGregor and his team mates sat in their dressing room deep in the bowels of De Kuip following a 2-0 defeat that left them rooted to bottom spot in Group E, nobody was holding the duo responsible for the bitterly disappointing result.

There were no fingers being pointed at the young centre-half and midfielder or blame being apportioned – just arms being placed around their shoulders and words of encouragement offered.

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“The two players felt very sorry for the team,” said Celtic winger Yang Hyun-jun. “But the rest of the team were very supportive and told them that it was not a big thing. We have to get over it as a team and be professional.”

Yang, who came on for Luis Palma when Celtic still had 11 men on the park, is certain the togetherness which exists within the Scottish champions’ squad will enable them to recover from the reverse and ensure they produce improved performances in their remaining matches.

He saw enough during the course of the opening hour in the Netherlands to make him believe that Brendan Rodgers’ team can still achieve their objective on the continent this season and reach the knockout rounds of either the Champions League or Europa League.

The Herald: Odin Thiago Holm sees red to leave his Celtic teammates in the mire in Feyenoord.

“As much as Feyenoord is one of the best Dutch teams, I believe that Celtic is also one of the best teams in Scotland,” he said. “So of course I got much confidence from this game. I am definitely sure that we can show our confidence in our coming matches.

“I believe Celtic is a team that recovers very quickly. We have shown that in our last couple of matches. We had a draw, but we went out and won our next two matches. The next two matches at home are a great opportunity for us to get over this and bring back our team face.”

Yang added: “We had two red cards early in second half which was very disappointing. It was disappointing for me because we didn’t have much time to show what we had prepared. But, because we are very professional, I believed in our team. We still kept going on and doing what we can do.

“Before the red cards, I definitely believed that we could win. I could see from all of the supporters the great backing they were giving us. But even after the red cards I still hung on to the hope.”

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Yang feels that Celtic’s never-say-die attitude is typified by Joe Hart.

The former England goalkeeper was partially at fault for the first goal that the treble winners conceded just before half time - but he responded by saving a penalty in the second half after Lagerbielke had been ordered off for a second bookable offence.

“I definitely think that Joe has one of the best mentalities as a player,” said Yang. “When I see him I learn that even though I make mistakes I have to get over them very quickly and learn from them.”

Yang has longed to play in the Champions League since he was a boy growing up in his native South Korea and was proud when he came on to make his debut in Europe’s premier club competition in Rotterdam.

However, he now wants to help Celtic bounce back from the Feyenoord loss in their second Group E match against Italian rivals Lazio at Parkhead next month and end their six year wait for a win . 

“It is a moment that I had dreamed of since I was a kid,” he said. “Regardless of the result, it was a great honour for me to play in this league. I am very much looking forward to the next matches and to showing what I can do.

“I don’t think the result has ruined my dream coming true because we have five more games in front of us and we will be more prepared for the next games.

“I believe that we can win and I believe that winning mentality is what we need at Celtic right now. I know Lazio is a very good team, but I believe Celtic are as good as them and I am very much looking forward to the next match.”

The Herald: