Scott Sinclair hailed Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers for helping him rediscover his love of football after playing a key role in the Hoops’ sixth successive Ladbrokes Premiership title win.
Sinclair scored a hat-trick as Celtic brushed aside Hearts 5-0 at Tynecastle on Sunday to clinch the title with plenty of room to spare.
Stuart Armstrong and Patrick Roberts were also on the scoresheet for Celtic but it was Sinclair who took centre-stage as he took his goal tally to 21 in all competitions since joining the Glasgow giants last summer.
Sinclair said on Sky Sports 2: “It was great. I think with the big games I enjoy it, with the pressure. It’s great to come away and win the championship.”
The 28-year-old is enjoying arguably the best spell of his career since moving north of the border, and he lauded the influence of Rodgers.
“When I signed, I expressed myself to say that I wanted to enjoy my football again, get my form back, which I have, and just be under a manager who believes in me. And you can see that on the field and I’m just enjoying every minute of it,” he said.
Celtic captain Scott Brown was quick to praise the impact Sinclair has had since the much-travelled Englishman moved to Parkhead from Aston Villa.
He said: “It’s a great performance today, this man (Sinclair) started everything, hat-trick hero. He deserves all the plaudits he has this season, he’s been outstanding from start to finish.”
Sunday’s win means Celtic now have 28 victories from 30 Premiership matches this season, with the other two games finishing in draws.
It has been a stunning first domestic campaign in charge for Rodgers and, when asked just how Celtic had become so dominant, Brown said: “The gaffer’s come in, the way we’ve been playing, we’re a lot fitter, we’re scoring a lot more goals and we haven’t made a couple of bad signings have we?”
Brown added of their title triumph, which was sealed despite star strikers Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths missing through injury: “The fans for 90 minutes were just non-stop and they believed we were going to do it today, we believed we were going to do it today, and we’ve done it for them.”
Rodgers said of the title success: “To clinch it like we did, playing how we did, is always very important and it’s a massive credit to the players.
“It’s a great win for us, and well deserved.”
The former Liverpool and Swansea boss also said he expects Celtic to get even better, both with regards to the players already at the club improving, and the addition of new faces.
“There are areas that we will improve on, for sure, for the summer and going forward,” he said.
“I think it’s two-fold. One, they (current players) will improve because their awareness of the game is getting better, and I just think I need a couple of (new) players to really compete at Champions League level.”