Scott Brown didn’t want to speak about the treble, after a triumph which thrilled him every bit as much as his first with Celtic, but he admitted a clean sweep of domestic honours would be “lovely”.
And the captain – who had an outstanding game in the club’s 100th trophy success – revealed that Brendan Rodgers coming to the club had transformed his game and that playing for the Hoops under him was “easy”.
“We’re doing well in the league, but we’ve not started the Scottish Cup yet,” said Brown. “We’ll see how it goes, but dominating every competition is our plan. We want to win everything. I’ve always wanted that, but now I actually believe we can win every single game we play so doing the treble would be lovely.”
Of Rodgers, Brown said: “The manager coming to Celtic is one of the best things that has happened in my career. Without a doubt, definitely. He’s just brought confidence, game awareness, the whole team knowing where they should be for 90 minutes, nobody just standing next to an opponent, everyone pulling off at angles. Every time I’ve got the ball, it’s so easy because I’ve got so many options in front of me, so many players in space.”
Celtic’s triumph was a “great, professional performance,” according to the skipper. “We were maybe a bit sloppy at the start of the second half, but that’s always going to happen when you go in 2-0 up. Aberdeen still had a huge cup final to play, so we knew they would come out and try to battle. But, at the end of it all, the better team won.
‘We were dominant. We tried to pass the ball – but we were also up for the battle. That is where we were professional, starting from Craig Gordon all the way through to Moussa Dembele. And we played some great football.”
Told his name would now be written his history as the man who lifted Celtic’s 100th prize, Brown added: “It’s never just about me, but it’s fantastic to be captain of this club right now, to be leading these lads, to be playing under a great manager.
“We knew this would be the club’s 100th trophy. The gaffer made that clear to us all. And we went out there knowing we wanted that cup. If we turn up, we know we’re a great team to watch. We also know that it’s always been tough for us at Hampden. But the manager has refreshed this team and it’s looking really good.
“I definitely get the same buzz from lifting a trophy now as I did at the very start of my Celtic career. Winning a cup is obviously fantastic for the lads coming through, guys who maybe haven’t won a lot before. But even for me, every time I go up on that podium as a winner, it’s so special. When you lift that trophy and see over 20,000 Celtic fans cheering you, celebrating, it’s something else. Our fans have been fantastic this season. They keep turning up in their thousands to watch us, wherever we are.”
Brown agreed that Rodgers had transformed some players, none more so than man-of-the-match James Forrest. “We knew what James could do, now he has a lot of belief. He takes the ball under pressure and can beat men nice and easy. He was absolutely outstanding today.”
Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon added: “Winners medals and a clean sheet were everything we wanted from today. We went through the entire campaign without losing a goal when we won the League Cup two seasons ago and now we’ve repeated the feat. It’s good to win any game and have a clean sheet, but to do it in a cup final is very special.”
He admitted that winning trophies gets more special the older he gets. “When I won the Scottish Cup with Hearts in 2006 it was special, but I was in my early 20s. I had a massive wait for my next chance to win a cup. I enjoy these things more now.”