Brendan Rodgers vows to try to win in a style befitting Celtic’s history

The Celtic boss takes his team to St Mirren on Sunday for a Scottish Cup last-16 tie

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers stresses he will always strive to win in a style befitting the club’s history as he prepares for a tricky Scottish Gas Scottish Cup tie against St Mirren in Paisley.

Rodgers’ side were impressive in a 3-0 victory on their previous visit to the SMISA Stadium on January 2 as they went into the winter break on the back of a four-match winning run which included a victory over Rangers and some of the quick-tempo play the manager wants. They have not hit those heights since returning and followed a draw at Aberdeen with a last-gasp victory over Hibs courtesy of two penalties and some missed chances from their hosts.

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Rodgers said: “I will always look for continual improvement. There are obviously key players who have missed a lot of the season so the team has been broken a lot of the season in terms of the rhythm, and the level of the players that have been missing. Plus you have new players coming in and having to adapt to how you want to work, and players coming in who maybe haven’t played for a little while.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates after beating Hibs at Easter Road.Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates after beating Hibs at Easter Road.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates after beating Hibs at Easter Road.

“So all of that leads to sometimes not being as cohesive as you want to be. But the players are still giving everything and working very hard. They have won six games out of the last seven. Whilst you are looking for that cohesion and creativity it’s still important to win and that’s what the players are doing.”

The former Liverpool and Leicester manager added: “We had been on a really good run of games and then we get to the Ross County game and it was a little bit slow. But we missed opportunities in that game, and it’s all about decisive moments. We missed a penalty which takes away a bit of the spirit. But we will always strive to play the very best we can. That’s what the demands are here at a club like Celtic. It’s not just about winning, you have to win in a style which is fitting of the club and the supporters. That’s always something that we will strive to do.”

While Celtic had momentum behind them last time out in Paisley, Rodgers expects to play at the same level. He added: “Momentum is something you want to create, but it can go at the same time as well. I think it’s just about that constant understanding of how we work and how we play, and that the demands are there to do that in every single game. If you start off games well, and play with that, but it’s important we maintain that. That’s always the message but it’s part of our coaching, our training, the analysis.”