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  • Manager vows to pick strongest side for Thistle Scottish Cup tie

    Manager vows to pick strongest side for Thistle Scottish Cup tie

    By: Tony Connelly on 08 Feb, 2018 15:27

  • BRENDAN Rodgers has promised to field his strongest team for Saturday’s Scottish Cup Glasgow derby against Partick Thistle as Celtic look to return to winning ways and maintain the drive for a second successive domestic treble.

    Alan Archibald’s Jags side will arrive at Paradise this weekend for the Scottish Cup fifth round tie against a Celtic side who have defeated them in all three league meetings this season.

    Celtic got this season’s Scottish Cup campaign off to a strong start last month with a 5-0 win over Brechin City and are now eyeing a place in the quarter finals if they can overcome their Glasgow rivals.

    Brendan Rodgers was adamant there would no signs of complacency from his team when they face the Jags in what he expected to be a difficult afternoon.

    “They’ve always been a difficult team to face in my time up here,” said the manager. “Alan’s an excellent coach and they manage the squad very well and they’re always a really difficult team to beat.

    “We played them a few weeks back so we know their threat and the qualities they have. We’re never complacent with any game we play, particularly against a Partick team that will be looking to bounce back after the result in midweek.  

    “We always respect them. They have good players, they give you a problem and they have decent energy in the team. We have to protect against that while showing our qualities.”

    Despite the Scottish champions’ strong record against Thistle, and the Europa League game against Zenit St Petersburg next Thursday, Brendan Rodgers insisted his focus was only on Thistle and his strongest side would take to the field on Saturday.

    “We want to put a strong team out and I’m always confident that whatever team I put out will get the result,” he said. “There isn’t any rotation we need to think about. It’s just about picking the team to win the game.

    “It’s just been one of these seasons where we’ve had a lot of injuries this year and a lot of bad luck, but whatever team we put out will look to win the game. That’s our idea for Saturday as we look to get through to the quarter finals.

    “It’s a cup that we want to win like every competition we’ve been in. It’s a really prestigious competition and we really enjoyed winning it last year.

    "The nature of how we won it as well was really special. There was a real feel around the day and I thoroughly enjoyed it and that’s our aim, to hopefully go and do the same thing this year.”

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