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  • Manager: Morton will be a tough test

    Manager: Morton will be a tough test

    By: Mark Henderson on 03 Mar, 2018 08:59

  • BRENDAN Rodgers has praised his Morton counterpart Jim Duffy and he believes the Championship club will provide a tough test today as Celtic attempt to book their place in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

    The manager was in attendance as the Greenock side narrowly lost to Livingston on Tuesday night, bringing to an end a seven-match unbeaten run, which included six victories.

    And he knows the Hoops must perform at a high standard to prevail in Paradise against the Cappielow club, who have enjoyed a fine record in cup competitions in recent seasons.

    “I watched their game against Livingston the other night and certainly what they have is a very experienced coach in Jim Duffy, who sets them up very well,” said the manager. “The job he’s done there in the last few years has been absolutely brilliant.

    "He will give his experience to his team and that’ll make them hard to beat, which they have shown in the Scottish Cup and cup competitions in particular.

    “When I watched them the other night, I thought they were very honest. They have some good players and one or two who were not playing in the game who may probably play against ourselves.

    “It’s one of those games where you have to play with the right intensity and tempo, and obviously you look to impose your style and aggression on the game from the very first whistle. I think it’ll be a very difficult game for us.”

    A win for the champions would take them another step closer to the showpiece final and keep their dreams alive for achieving back-to-back trebles. But the focus, as always for the Irishman and his players, is on the task in hand.

    “It’s very much the old cliché, and what we’ve always tried to do here – look to the next game,” he said.  “We can’t have our mind on anything other than the Greenock Morton game as that will provide a big test for us.

    “There is no doubt we are getting to the end of the season and the games that really matter, which we relish.

    “We have 10 games to go in the league and we’re really excited about that, and this is where this team have coped with the pressure really well, none more so than last season.

    “We will look forward to every game now and we will hopefully have that greater physicality in the games through playing less in midweek, and now we can really focus on having another brilliant end to a season.”

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