Moussa Dembele has warned the rest of Scottish football they will be powerless to prevent Celtic completing the domestic treble this season if Brendan Rodgers’ side maintain the form which saw them claim the Betfred Cup.
Celtic’s leading marksman, who scored the 17th goal of his debut campaign with the Scottish champions in their 3-0 final win over Aberdeen at Hampden on Sunday, has set his sights firmly on adding the Scottish Premiership and Scottish Cup over the next six months.
“Yes, I think we can win the other two trophies,” said Dembele. “We’re in a strong position. When you beat a team like Aberdeen 3-0 in the final, we show that we are the contenders and when we play like this, no one in the country can beat us.”
It is 16 seasons since Celtic won the most recent of their three domestic trebles, when Martin O’Neill achieved the feat in his first season as manager. Rodgers is now on course to emulate his compatriot O’Neill and join Jock Stein – the only other treble-winning boss of Celtic in 1966-67 and 1968-69 – in delivering a clean sweep of silverware for the club.
Dembele’s contribution has been key to the positive impact that Rodgers had made so far since replacing Norwegian Ronny Deila as manager in the summer.
The 20-year-old French striker played a pivotal role in Celtic’s imperious Betfred Cup campaign, scoring in every round they played, including the only goal of the semi-final win against Rangers.
“I came here to win trophies and it feels great to have one already,” said Dembele, a bargain buy at just £500,000 from Fulham.
“I’m just happy to be here. I knew when I came here the first target was to get a trophy and that’s what we’ve done,” added Dembele. “I’m happy for the team. Of course, when you play as well as we have, you want a reward and this was our reward for the first four or five months we’ve been working together. If we keep playing in this way, there is a lot more to come.
“It was special to score in the final. That’s why I came here, to win trophies and score goals and I’ve done both in the final. I’m happy to be a Celtic player and hopefully I can win many, many more trophies.
“It is important to celebrate success and that is what we will do. But after this we will keep working because the season is not finished yet.
“We’ve got one trophy but there are two more to come and we will do everything to win them.
“I want that winning feeling again. I’m a winner and my team-mates are winners and we want to win every game.
“So if we keep playing like this and keep showing that we are hungry, I think no-one can beat us.
“We just have to keep going, keep working hard in training.
“This is the first one but there are two more to come and we’ll do everything to win both of them.
“It is a big thing for me to win my first medal in football but the work is not done.
“We’ll enjoy it but our next goal is the league and the cup, so we’ll be working hard for both of those trophies,” added Dembele
Dembele paid tribute to the influence Rodgers has had, both on his individual development and that of the team as a whole.
“He’s been great for everyone. We came to the club at the same time and you can see a big improvement between this team and last season.
“He’s a good manager and it’s good to work alongside him. I feel we can keep improving, keep progressing and be a better team with him. Has it gone better than I expected when I joined Celtic? No, when I came I wanted to score in every game and beat every team, even in the Champions League. So it’s nothing more than I expected.
“I expected to do my best and that’s what I’ve done so far.
“I’m confident even in bad moments but after Sunday we are in a good mood, we keep winning games and I keep scoring goals.
“So we have to enjoy it and keep working hard for it to continue.”