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  • Manager: Four trophies in a year is a phenomenal achievement

    Manager: Four trophies in a year is a phenomenal achievement

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 26 Nov, 2017 18:27

  • BRENDAN Rodgers hailed the League Cup final triumph as a brilliant victory as his players showed tremendous character and quality to see off Motherwell at Hampden and secure a fourth domestic trophy success for the Hoops.

    Coming off the back of a difficult midweek Champions League tie away to Paris, the Celtic players showed no ill effects and maintained their hold of the League Cup trophy and their impressive domestic unbeaten run, which now stands at 65 games.

    Speaking after the game, the Celtic manager said: “It’s our fourth trophy in 12 months and it’s a phenomenal achievement. And it’s a huge credit to the players because their hunger and desire to keep having that belief.

    “We had to tick a few character boxes after midweek and yet again the players produced. It was always going to be difficult for us, with how Motherwell have started the season and the confidence they have in terms of how they play. We had to be patient today and wait for our moments, and once we got the first goal we settled into our rhythm.”

    That first goal came just four minutes into the second-half when James Forrest fired home from just inside the Motherwell penalty area after he was set up by Callum McGregor.

    It was a vital breakthrough following a stuffy first-half, although soon afterwards, the Hoops were grateful for their goalkeeper, who produced a world-class save to deny Louis Moult an equaliser.

    “Jamesy’s goal was a good move and we started to then pass the ball and combine a lot better in the second half, and in particular that phase of the game,” the manager said.

    “It was a wonderful piece of skill, although it was difficult for the defender because he thought that James was maybe going to go on the outside, but he’s got that ability to come in on his left side and play it with the outside of his foot or bend it in like he did, so it was a great finish.

    “Craig Gordon didn’t have a lot to do today but that save from Moult was brilliant. It was a great reaction from Craig and those are saves which are important for you. From that, we kept going and go the second goal.”

    For that second goal, Scott Sinclair won the penalty which Moussa Dembele converted, and the Celtic manager was in doubt that it was a penalty, though he could understand the frustrations of his managerial counterpart at the subsequent red card issued to defender, Cedric Kipre. But it was a strong and confident Celtic side who comfortably saw out the game.

    "I look at it and I think it’s a penalty," Brendan Rodgers said. "It was a great ball from Moussa and Scotty made the run and was getting there. The defender, obviously, can’t get there, so he impedes him and he pulls him, so I think it’s a penalty. I’m not sure about the rules now, so I don’t know whether it’s a sending-off or not, so Stephen Robinson will feel a bit harsh with it being a sending-off. 

    “Today’s a trophy for everyone at the club,” the manager added. “You saw the support today. It was amazing - three-quarters of the stadium really helping the team and our backroom staff, the work they put in, combined with the players. So today’s a great win for the club.”


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